Zuma ally took monthly bribes from S.Africa company, inquiry hears
A South African former executive on Monday told a corruption probe that his old company had paid monthly bribes for 14 years to a minister who served scandal-tainted ex-president Jacob Zuma.
Angelo Agrizzi, ex-chief operating officer of the Bosasa contracting company, has given days of damning testimony to the judicial commission, which is looking into allegations of government corruption under Zuma.
Agrizzi said he was responsible for counting and packing 50,000 rand ($3,600) in cash each month to be delivered to Nomvula Mokonyane from 2002 until 2016 when Agrizzi left the company.
"We knew she was close to former president Zuma," Agrizzi, dressed in a dark grey pin-stripped suit, told the inquiry.
"She was going to speak to him (Zuma) and another person to have any charges against Bosasa dropped, if there were any."
"She was the link person for us. We knew that if we had any issues, we could go to her and they would be sorted."
Mokonyane, who is currently environmental affairs minister, served as Zuma's minister of water and sanitation between 2014 and 2018, and was earlier a provincial minister.
Bosasa earned huge profits from contracts with government departments and state-owned companies.
It has been under investigation over alleged graft since 2007 but has never been charged with any crime.
Agrizzi described how Bosasa paid for funerals for Mokonyane's deceased family members, rented cars for her daughter for months at a time and organised large rallies for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
"I was personally involved. I would have to authorise," he said.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power when Zuma was ousted as president last February, has vowed to root out corruption in the government and the party as the country heads for elections in May.
Ramaphosa appointed Mokonyane as communications minister and then environment minister.
Agrizzi said he had even designed Zuma's 72nd birthday cake as one of the favours the company did to gain lucrative contracts from the state.
Last week Agrizzi told the inquiry that the firm would spend between four and six million rand a month on bribes.
Zuma has denied any wrongdoing, and Mokonyane has also reportedly said she was innocent.
Bosasa was renamed African Global Operations in 2017.