Revelations at the state capture commission of inquiry over the past seven days about how Bosasa allegedly undermined the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks are shocking and show that there was a plan to create a “mafia state”.
This, according to acting ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, who told News24 outside the commission on Thursday that “attempts to capture law enforcement agencies in the manner that has been revealed by some of the testimony is shocking”.
He branded Bosasa as a cartel that set out to create “a state of lawlessness, a mafia state” following the seventh day of testimony by former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi.
Agrizzi revealed on Thursday how the Krugersdorp company had allegedly bribed senior NPA officials Nomgcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi and Jackie Lepinka, Jiba’s former personal assistant, in exchange for them providing Bosasa with information on the ongoing case against the company and government officials and, eventually, killing the matter entirely.
Jiba, Mrwebi and Lepinka have denied the claims.
The case came about as a result of a damning Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report finalised in 2009 and handed to the NPA in early 2010, which found that Bosasa executives (including Agrizzi) had an improper relationship with correctional services officials Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham.
Bosasa paid extensive bribes to both men, which resulted in the company being awarded four tenders worth a collective R1.5bn between 2004 and 2006. Kodwa has attended the commission every day of Agrizzi’s testimony so far.
“We can’t have public servants who are in the pocket of people who are a cartel, who are basically running the country like an underworld, like a mafia,” he said.
“A lesson we must learn from this process is that it is important that we restore confidence in public institutions.
“We must root out rogue elements in public institutions that have undermined and made them ineffective, whether it’s the SAPS (South African Police Service), Hawks, whether it’s the NPA, we must root out rogue elements. We must bring back the trust and loyalty of our people and confidence in our own institutions.”
Kodwa admitted that a lack of action on widespread reports of corruption in the media had punished the ANC at the polls during the local government elections in 2016.
“Every revelation in terms of the testimony here, it’s a moment for the ANC to reflect, without making prejudgements, what the impact of these revelations are on the integrity of the ANC. The ANC is doing that.”
The party would come before the commission again between February and March. Kodwa explained. President Cyril Ramaphosa would make a final submission at the end of those testimonies.
Kodwa was confident that the establishment of commissions into state institutions to clean up corruption was a move in the right direction.
“Part of the allegations that were made about us (the ANC), particularly before the 2016 local government elections, which was a setback for us, was that we were just talking about corruption, and not doing anything.
“But since President Ramaphosa became president, you are seeing action.”
He added that once the commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, had finalised its report, the party would take action, as it had done in the aftermath of the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
“It’s important that when a report comes after an investigation on corruption we must act decisively, because nobody is above the ANC, nobody must elevate an individual above the laws of the country. No individual must be given the right to undermine the institutions which are meant to serve the public.”