State capture: Nomvula Mokonyane's PA defends her boss of 21 years
The personal assistant of ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane has defended her boss against allegations that she received benefits from Bosasa during her time in government — both at national and provincial level.
Sandy Thomas has been handling Mokonyane's daily life for 21 years and still does as her PA in Luthuli House — the ANC head office where Mokonyane works as head of the national disciplinary appeals committee.
Appearing at the state capture inquiry on Monday, Thomas cleared her boss of allegations made by the likes of ex-Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi.
Another witness who had implicated Mokonyane on Bosasa matters was Richard le Roux, an employee of a Bosasa subsidiary known as GTS.
Le Roux claimed that Bosasa had done maintenance work at Mokonyane's home.
Commission evidence leader advocate Viwe Notshe's line of questioning on Monday, however, suggested that Bosasa installed security features at Mokonyane's home.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi’s former PA, Gina Pieters, took the stand at the state capture inquiry on September 2 2020. She laid out how Bosasa executives made sure that flowers, hampers and other “surprises” would be sent to then minister of environmental affairs Nomvula Mokonyane and her PA, Sandy Thomas.
Thomas dismissed this, saying the security features at Mokonyane's home were installed by the government when Mokonyane was MEC for housing in Gauteng.
Thomas said the installation of the security features at Mokonyane's home was a joint effort between the department of housing, the office of the premier and the police.
On Agrizzi's claim that Bosasa delivered food parcels to Mokonyane's home in Kagiso containing chicken braai packs, booze and other items, Thomas said these items were not for Mokonyane's benefit.
Instead, she insisted, the Bosasa food parcels were for needy families in Kagiso.
“Food parcels would be made and go to families in Kagiso. The numbers would vary,” said Thomas. “We had a network of people who did community work in Kagiso, so they would identify the most needy families.”
Thomas added that sometimes Mokonyane would not be involved at all, as Bosasa boss Gavin Watson and Agrizzi communicated with her as the PA, and she would arrange for the delivery of the parcels.