World

Bosasa Boss Gavin Watson Offered R80 Million To Buy Angelo Agrizzi’s Silence

Agrizzi has been testifying for the last seven days at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has been testifying for the last seven days at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture revealing how Bosasa boss Gavin Watson used to bribe top government officials to get government contracts worth millions of rands in the company’s name over the past decade.

According to reports by Sunday Times and City Press, Bosasa CEO Watson offered Agrizzi an R80 million in a hush money deal to buy his silence and prevent him from spilling beans about the company’s alleged corruption.

As per the reports, Watson offered to pay Agrizzi R250 000 per month as a consultancy fee, and the setting up a new company which would receive R10m per year for six years. As part of the agreement, Watson was also ready to pay an R5 million good faith payment to Agrizzi.

The offer to former Bosasa COO was made after he told certain journalists that he intended to expose Bosasa’s alleged wrongdoing. Bosasa lawyer Brian Biebuyck even sent an email to Agrizzi containing a proposed agreement revealing a web to make the payments appear legitimate.

City Press got hold of the emails and text messages sent by various members of the Watson family, the owners of the security services company, to Agrizzi.

“Why don’t you want to meet me? Why don’t you want to take my calls?” one of the leaked text messages read.

“What’s it going to solve destroying your family and my family and 5 000 other families,” another message read.

Agrizzi allegedly rejected the offer and replied back that he did not want to be involved with the kind of people with which the Watsons associated. He said that the issue was “too dirty”, and that “Christ” would not want him to associate with them.

In response to the allegation, Bosasa spokesperson Papa Leshabane said the proposal did not come from Watson or the company, and that they had no knowledge of its legitimacy.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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