Former Bosasa Executive Angelo Agrizzi made a lot of shocking revelations related to the company’s illegal operations and how it bribed senior government officials in exchange for favors and contracts.
On Tuesday, News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson, who is currently testifying at the inquiry, revealed that Bosasa threatened him to stop reporting on the company.
Basson told the inquiry that he had taken interest in Bosasa after it was revealed in Parliament that the Department of Correctional Services awarded a number of contracts the company in 2006.
It was after Basson began exposing Bosasa and wrote a series of investigative stories about the facilities management company in 2009, he started receiving calls from people threatening him. The callers would threaten him that he was risking their livelihoods by publishing articles about Bosasa.
“There were two purposes of threats, which we’re going to detail, but the only purpose I could deduce at the time, I still believe, is to stop me from writing about Bosasa.”
He recalled a call made by a woman who introduced herself as a media person. She threatened to kill him if he told anyone about the phone call she had made to him. While the woman didn’t reveal her name, Basson Googled the number and found that it belonged to Benedicta Dube, who worked in PR but had been a journalist before. Notably, Agrizzi also mentioned Dube’s name in testimony as one of the journalists that did PR work for Bosasa.
When questioned about a video recording in which Agrizzi said he had visited his house along with his children, Basson admitted that he had visited Agrizzi’s home to get more information on Bosasa. He said Agrizzi had indicated that he was ready to reveal the wrongdoings at Bosasa.
“I went to see Agrizzi at his home during the course of my work as a journalist,” Basson said, reported News24. “I went there to talk to him, because I had heard he had turned against Bosasa and hoped he could provide me with information.”
The inquiry continues.