IN QUOTES | Mokonyane's state capture inquiry testimony on 40th birthday party and Bosasa relations

04 September 2020 - 10:05 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane was quizzed about the extent of her relationship with Bosasa bosses and the details of her 40th birthday party in 2003.
Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane was quizzed about the extent of her relationship with Bosasa bosses and the details of her 40th birthday party in 2003.
Image: KOPANO TLAPE/GCIS / File photo

Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane reappeared before the state capture inquiry on Thursday.

She was quizzed about the extent of her relationship with Bosasa bosses, former COO Angelo Agrizzi and former CEO Gavin Watson, and the details of her 40th birthday party in 2003.

The party was allegedly sponsored by Bosasa.

Frederick Hendrick Coetzee, owner of the Victorian Guest House in Krugersdorp, told the inquiry that Bosasa forked out R41,000 for Mokonyane's birthday party, held at the venue.

He also said Agrizzi was present at the party.

Here are five quotes from Mokonyane's testimony:

40th birthday party 

“The plan was to have a private dinner as the family, and we left home with an understanding that I'm going for a private dinner, something we normally do with our birthdays. We arrived at the Victorian Guest house, and I didn't recognise Mr Agrizzi there. There was no speaker from Bosasa, and I thanked my family and said this was indeed a surprise.”

Not remembering birthday party details 

“It can sound strange because, honestly speaking, that was not a party I knew was going to happen. I was looking forward to a Saturday with my friends and family, very small, intimate. A bit of my memory reminded me that there has been parties. That on its own helped me unpack which other parties have been held there.”

Party sponsors

“The issue of who paid and what happened is not something  I was quite interested in because I've also been part of organising surprise parties for other people, and you don't have to tell everybody 'so and so bought a bottle of water.' You just say we are your friends and we're organising your 60th birthday and that is it.”

Was Watson at the party?

“No, Gavin was not at the party. Not to my memory, no. The only person who will know who was there will be Mr Coetzee because he knew he was working with Mr Agrizzi.”

Did her husband know about the party?

“He might have also been approached to say, 'we're organising this thing, please secure Nomvula on that day'. Maybe he might have known or not known. All I know is  I was instructed not to go anywhere and we drove [to the venue].”

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