Corruption-accused company Bosasa spent R4m-R6m a month on bribing officials “to do what we want” and granting it government contracts and tenders, the Zondo commission into state capture heard on Wednesday.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi testified how cash amounting to millions would be kept in a vault on the Bosasa premises and accessed for cash payments to government officials.
“Directors will come and ask [Bosasa CEO] Gavin Watson for money to sort this one out or pay bribes. Gavin used to go to a safe in a walk-in vault [to get the money],” Agrizzi said under oath.
He said money would be hand delivered in grey money bags to officials helping Bosasa.
When asked how much was spent on bribes, Agrizzi said it amounted to up to R6m a month. But he added that it was “a drop in the ocean” in comparison with how much Bosasa made from the state.
“It was not big in proportion. That amount did not stick out,” Agrizzi said.
He said some officials would get R1m a month, and sometimes “much more”.
Agrizzi confessed that sometimes he made the payments, and at other times other Bosasa directors made the payments. He said Watson would also consult him from time to time about who should be bribed.
He earlier testified that they bought groceries every month for former chemicals workers union Ceppwawu general secretary Simon Mofokeng amounting to R15,000 a month in lieu of the union putting pressure on Sasol for a contract to be awarded to Bosasa.
Agrizzi said Bosasa and Watson did not give bribes in lump sums and instead opted to make monthly payments to ensure that the people they bribed were beholden to them.
“If someone is involved in bribery and does a deal, they will get a monthly payment. Not a lump sum … so that you will have a hold over that person. Their lifestyle will become accustomed to that amount,” he said.
Agrizzi’s testimony at the state capture commission is expected to implicate high-profile and well-connected people. Earlier in the day, former SAA chair Dudu Myeni was implicated.
Agrizzi’s testimony is expected to continue on Thursday.