Johannesburg – The chief executive of Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor), Kevin Wakeford, on Monday slammed allegations by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi at the state capture inquiry as "malicious, a gross fabrication and the fabric of lies".
Wakeford has allegedly been implicated in an affidavit submitted to the Zondo commission of inquiry by Agrizzi.
Agrizzi has been giving explosive details on how Bosasa, now African Global Corporations, paid massive bribes to government ministers and members of parliament to win lucrative state tenders and help it hide corruption.
He also revealed that Bosasa spent up to R6 million monthly bribing various government officials and senior executives at state-owned enterprises.
A statement issued on Wakeford’s behalf confirmed that the Armscor chief has officially been notified by the Zondo commission’s secretariat last week that his name appears in papers submitted to the commission.
"Notwithstanding that he has not enjoyed the benefit and protection of the commission’s rules, he has stated that he will cooperate with the commission and adhere to the rules inter alia relating to interacting with the media."
Wakeford went on to deny Agrizzi’s allegations, saying he is "confident that he will be able to clear his name in due course".
He also confirmed his professional relationship as a retained consultant to Bosasa for approximately eight years, saying his advisory role covered a range of issues relating to the political economy.
“At all times I avoided conflicts of interest by disclosing my relationships. There is sufficient evidence to validate such” he explained.
The Armscor head went on to say that he believed in and respected the “rule of law” and the process of testing evidence to achieve a just outcome and to that end, he and his legal representatives were preparing a detailed submission.
Wakeford further also indicated that he intended to make an application to be allowed to give evidence to the commission, subject himself to cross-examination and to cross-examine Agrizzi.
“I have sacrificed and dedicated much of my life to integrity and ethical leadership often to the detriment of me and my extended family. I have been ostracized and side-lined as a result of my involvement in whistleblowing activities. The Commission into the Collapse of the Rand in 2002 and my support to the former Deputy Director General of the Department of Justice, Mr Mike Tshishonga, during his damning whistle blowing revelations in 2003 and 2004 bare testimony to this. The award winning journalist and author Barry Sergeant’s book, The Assault on the Rand is an excellent record of both these matters.
“I have been the Armscor CEO since 1st May 2015. Armscor has no contracts with Bosasa. In fact Armscor has no contracts with any of the Gupta-linked companies either. We have achieved three clean audits and one unqualified audit during my tenure as CEO. I am committed to clear my name and request that all stakeholders exercise patience as I work with my legal team to prepare," he said.
Wakeford confirmed that he had requested the Armscor Board to place him on special leave last Tuesday to allow him time to prepare his response and to give him time to clear his name.
Wakeford continues: “One cannot expect Armscor employees to be led by a CEO whose integrity being questioned in the public domain, hence the period of special leave.”