IN QUOTES | From security upgrades to birthday flowers — testimony from Mokonyane's PA

01 September 2020 - 09:05 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Sandy Thomas, PA of Nomvula Mokonyane, testified before the state capture commission.
Sandy Thomas, PA of Nomvula Mokonyane, testified before the state capture commission.
Image: SABC/ YouTube

The former personal assistant to former minister of water and environmental affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, Sandy Thomas, testified before the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday about her interactions with the late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson.

She also told the commission that Bosasa employee Richard le Roux did maintenance at Mokonyane's home, but denied that they were security upgrades.

Thomas also dismissed allegations that food parcels, delivered to Mokonyane's house annually around Christmas time, were for the former minister's benefit, saying they were for the needy community of Kagiso in Krugersdorp.

Ex Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi told the commission last year that Bosasa gifted Mokonyane with Christmas groceries which included premium brandy and packs of meat.

Here are five quotes from Thomas' testimony:

Meeting Gavin Watson

“I knew Mr Watson for a very long time. I knew him, I talked to him on the phone. When you talk to someone for a long time, you try to put the name to the face, so  you google and see OK, this is the person. [I saw him] once before [at Mokonyane's son's] funeral. He came to sympathise.”

Watson bought Mokonyane flowers on her birthday 

“Mr Watson would call ... and he would say 'what do you think?' I want to do flowers, what do you think? At times I would recommend somebody who does flowers in her home because she knows what she wants.”

House maintenance by Bosasa employee 

“There was a day when the alarm just went crazy ... I then called Mr Mokonyane and said there's a problem at home. He said to me call Richard [le Roux]. He would try to solve the problem and I would ask him to let me know if it's attended to or sorted ... if he was in the area, he would sort it out and I would call Mr Mokonyane and tell him Richard has sorted it out.”

Security installations from the housing department, premier's office and SAPS

“They collaborated because there was a need for security upgrades to MECs' homes. It wasn't just Mrs Mokonyane at the time, it was all MECs' homes. The gentleman that we worked with from the department of housing was responsible for safety. It was a matter of assessments. I cannot remember his name.”

Food parcels from Bosasa

“Parcels would be made and they would go to families in Kagiso. The ladies [a network of ladies from the community] would know which families to invite and who were in most need. The numbers would vary. If you [prepared for] 70 or 30 people, there would always be more. So one would try to accommodate a bit extra. It would happen around Christmas time in December.”

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.


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