Politics

Angelo Agrizzi refutes Watson family's claim he stole R37.5m from Bosasa

Angelo Agrizzi refutes Watson family's claim he stole R37.5m from Bosasa

Johannesburg - Former chief operating officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi is again under fire from Gavin Watson’s family who are accusing him and another former senior employee of theft.

But Agrizzi has denied this.

“I really don’t know what to say, because I know nothing about this case. I got to know from the media that there is this case that has been opened by a 31-year-old Jared,” he said, adding that he was in a game reserve in Limpopo enjoying hot coffee and had not skipped the country.

On Wednesday, Jared Watson, the nephew of the late Gavin Watson, the founder of Bosasa, laid criminal charges accusing Agrizzi and former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder of stealing R37.5million while still in the employ of the facilities management company between 2012 and 2017.

Jared said the two former employees used the companies to bill Bosasa for dubious services that were never rendered, hence the decision to press 171 cases of theft against them.

He said Bosasa had uncovered this after conducting a detailed forensic investigation.

“Basically, Agrizzi and Van Tonder owned cc’s (close corporations). Those cc’s would invoice Bosasa, for example for 100k.

“Agrizzi and Van Tonder as the COO and CFO, respectively, would then ‘receive’ those invoices.

“Agrizzi and Van Tonder would then approve those invoices together, as the two of them could approve any transaction if they both signed, and those approved invoices would then be paid by the company,” he said.

The theft case, according to Jared, was opened at Krugersdorp police station, west of Joburg.

Among the companies Jared included in the affidavit are Spilacraft cc, Sinkroprop cc, Aruziwe cc and Lombicor cc. He alleged that in order to conceal their tracks they also included companies owned by their relatives, and the companies are: Semeg cc and Stonebridge Electromechanical Engineering.

Responding to the accusations, Agrizzi said he was not aware of the case against him until he was called by the media for comment.

He also said that he had not been contacted by the SAPS to present himself as a suspect or person under investigation who should be questioned.

He said the “surprising” case against him was clearly a plot by the Watsons to discredit him after he “exposed” them at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, and added that if they wanted to dispute his evidence they should have applied to cross-examine him at that platform.

He warned the Watsons that he was still going to spill more beans about them in the near future, but he did not say how and where. “I trust in God, and if they want to kill me they must come and kill me, I fear nothing… But the truth will still come out, and I am still going to tell more truth. I did what was good for the country and exposed the Watsons, that they are not a struggling family as they claim,” Agrizzi said.

Both Agrizzi and Van Tonder testified at the Zondo Commission early this year, and accused Gavin Watson of corruption and other illegal dealings in order to secure state tenders and clear tax issues with the South African Revenue Services (Sars).

Political Bureau