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Corruption charges must follow Bosasa's funding of former ANC MP Vincent Smith: Zondo

01 March 2022 - 22:23
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith appears for his bail application on October 1 2020 in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court. His case will resume this week. File photo.
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith appears for his bail application on October 1 2020 in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court. His case will resume this week. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russel

Judge Raymond Zondo has recommended that corruption charges be investigated against former ANC MP Vincent Smith after Bosasa, a private company central to state capture, allegedly paid R600,000 for his daughter’s overseas university fees, security upgrades to his home and monthly payments of up to R100,000.

The state capture commission found in its latest report, released on Tuesday, that there was a prima facie case of corruption against Smith under at least sections 3 and 7 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act in relation to what it found was a quid pro quo arrangement between Smith and Bosasa.

“It is improbable that Mr Smith did not know that the assistance he received from Bosasa was on a quid pro quo basis because Mr Smith had, by his own admission, been shocked by the amount of corruption that the SIU alleged was associated with Bosasa and its relationship with [the department of correctional services],” reads the report.

Part 3 of the commission’s findings were handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon and made public on Tuesday evening.

Smith was parliament’s correctional services portfolio committee chairperson between 1999 and 2014.

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi testified to the commission that Bosasa, himself and the company’s late CEO, Gavin Watson, had given money to Smith, including:

  • monthly cash payments;
  • payments for his daughter’s university fees;
  • car rentals for his daughter; and
  • security upgrades at his Johannesburg residence.

At the time when he allegedly received some of the payments, Smith knew that Bosasa was being investigated by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Special Investigations Unit, the testimony claimed.

“When Mr Smith accepted the benefits from Bosasa as described above, he knew that he was receiving them from a company that faced serious allegations of bribery and corruption. Therefore Mr Smith must have known that these benefits were being given to him for corrupt purposes,” reads the report.

“Mr Smith acted in breach of section 40(2) and 195 of the constitution. He breached the oath sworn by members of parliament to uphold the constitution and to perform their work to the best of their ability (read with section 48 of the constitution). Mr Smith's conduct was also in breach of ... the code of conduct governing members of the National Assembly.”

Smith is already facing charges of tax fraud, money laundering and corruption in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court. The case is expected back in court on Wednesday.

The commission said that the recommendations related to allegations separate to those he is currently facing in court. 



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