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Zondo says there is 'prima facie' evidence of corruption against Nomvula Mokonyane

01 March 2022 - 21:11
ANC head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane. File photo.
ANC head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane. File photo.
Image: GCIS

Judge Raymond Zondo has called for the criminal prosecution of disgraced former communications minister and ANC stalwart Nomvula Mokonyane.

This comes after the public release of the latest state capture report into the influence the late businessman Gavin Watson and his company Bosasa had over government officials in the securing of multibillion-rand contracts.

Released on Tuesday night, the report calls for the “further investigation” of Mokonyane with “prima facie evidence” of corruption likely to be uncovered by law enforcement authorities.

“Such further investigation will uncover a prima facie case of PRECCA [Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act] which deals with corrupt activities relating to witnesses and evidential material during certain proceedings.”

Zondo’s findings were into how Watson and Bosasa had among other things paid for Mokonyane’s 40th birthday party and spent thousands of rands on buying her and her family groceries for Christmas. The gifts were to win favour in securing multibillion-rand contracts for the department of correctional services.

Zondo’s findings were based on damning evidence provided by former Bosasa chief operating officer, Angelo Agrizzi. Agrizzi was the right-hand man of the now dead Bosasa CEO and staunch ANC funder, Gavin Watson.

According to the report, Mokonyane was prepared to use the name of the poor to lie and to escape her links with the corruption-linked Bosasa.

In his testimony, Agrizzi also provided intimate details about the layout of Mokonyane’s home, details of how monthly EFT payments of R50,000 had been made to her by Watson from outside her homes, and funded ANC events. 

In his scathing report, Zondo said: “Mokonyane initially denied Agrizzi's evidence that he had been to her house and, in response, Agrizzi gave details of the outside and the inside of Mokonyane's house including where her study was in the house, and, ultimately, Mokonyane could no longer deny that Agrizzi had been inside her house.

“Mokonyane initially denied Agrizzi's evidence that Bosasa organised and paid for her birthday party held at the Victorian Guest House … both oral and documentary [evidence] simply demolished Mokonyane's denial and fully corroborated Agrizzi's evidence.”

Zondo said Agrizzi testified that over many years, every December, Bosasa would buy certain grocery items and have them delivered to Mokonyane's house for her and her family's benefit.

“Mokonyane denied that any grocery items were delivered to her home at all by Bosasa every December but, later on, her PA admitted that the grocery items were bought and delivered by Bosasa to Mokonyane's  home but that the grocery items were for poor communities and not for the benefit of Mokonyane and her family.

“However, the fact that those groceries included expensive wine and liquor suggests that the grocery items were not for poor communities but for Mokonyane and her family," he writes.

He said if the grocery items were delivered to Mokonyane's home, but were meant for poor communities, there was no way that Mokonyane, “as a politician who projects herself as attached to poor communities would not have been aware of this".

“There would have been no reason for her to deny that Bosasa used to buy such groceries and deliver them to her home, because she would have been told by Bosasa about them and she would have made arrangements for the delivery of the groceries to the poor communities," he writes.

Zondo said the fact that Mokonyane denied that groceries were delivered by Bosasa was an indication that the only groceries that Bosasa delivered to Mokonyane's home were those intended for her and her family's benefit

“The reason she denied them is because she knew it was inappropriate for her to have allowed this to happen. Agrizzi had no reason to falsely implicate Mokonyane in wrongdoing. Mokonyane failed to advance any convincing reason why Agrizzi would have decided to falsely implicate her in wrongdoing,” he writes.

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