Johannesburg – Angelo Agrizzi has told the Zondo commission how former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni would ask Bosasa to fund various extravagant events for former president Jacob Zuma and his family.
Agrizzi said Myeni was hugely influential in facilitating meetings between Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson and Zuma. She was also tasked with delivering R300 000 in monthly payments which were allegedly meant for the "Jacob Zuma Foundation".
He said he believes the money was meant for Zuma and not for the foundation.
He told the commission that he asked his wife how he could impress Myeni and she advised that he purchase her a handbag. A Louis Vuitton handbag was purchased by someone and Watson used it to stuff R300 000. Agrizzi said Myeni thanked him personally for the bag.
"These payments continued regularly on a monthly basis. I was well aware of them because I was at times present when the cash was packed by Gavin Watson for her. I was present at a few deliveries to Myeni," said Agrizzi.
"Myeni would coordinate numerous meetings at President Zuma’s Nkandla residence to discuss matters with President Zuma. On one such occasion, Gavin Watson was concerned that the R300 000 per month he was giving to Myeni was in fact not being delivered to President Zuma in full. He arranged to meet with President Zuma at Nkandla, and there he personally handed the bag of R300 000 in cash to President Zuma," said Agrizzi.
The former COO said Bosasa would fund events for Zuma which ran into millions of rands.
"Myeni would often call on Gavin Watson to arrange functions for President Zuma and his family. Gavin Watson and directors of the Bosasa Group. Companies would be invited. The cost of these functions extended to millions of rand per function. A functions coordinator, Alistair Esau, the Bosasa Group of Companies executive chef, was appointed to manage arrangements," said Agrizzi.
Agrizzi read a letter which Myeni had written to Bosasa thanking the company for a party it hosted for Zuma and his family.
When asked by commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on why Bosasa interacted with Myeni, he said she was very influential. In one example he said Myeni helped broker a meeting between Watson and other officials to try and influence Zuma to help them with a Karoo fracking transaction.
"Bosasa had been approached by Aneel Rahadkhrishna to become involved in the Karoo fracking transaction. Falcon Oil and Gas chairman, Phillip O’Quigley, had expressed an interest to an attorney Lizel Oberholzer who was a friend of Rahadkhrishna. He then brought the opportunity to Bosasa. I believe the reason that the opportunity was brought to Bosasa was that Rahadkhrishna had been told by me that Myeni was close to Gavin Watson. Myeni’s influence over President Zuma was an important factor. Certain amendments to regulations were required to facilitate the transaction," said Agrizzi.
"It transpired that Dudu Myeni coordinated a meeting at Nkandla between Gavin Watson, O’Quigley and Oberholzer. It was the intention that at this meeting President Zuma would be persuaded to advise the Minister of Mineral Resources to effect the legislative changes. As far as I know, the meeting was successful. Subsequently, the Minister’s legal advisors were instructed to meet with Oberholzer to make amendments to the regulations. I do not know if these amendments were in fact effected," he said.
Agrizzi said Zuma favoured the use of Bosasa companies for government contracts.
The inquiry continues.
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