A little black pocket book detailing monthly payments could prove to be key to the possible criminal prosecution of disgraced former minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
State capture inquiry chair Raymond Zondo on Tuesday delivered to the presidency his latest findings and recommendations. The report delved into how Bosasa, the controversial state contractor of now-dead ANC funder Gavin Watson, captured senior government officials to secure lucrative contracts.
Key to Zondo’s findings was testimony by former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi.
Agrizzi had testified how Bosasa financed th
e 40th birthday party of powerful ANC member Mokonyane, paid her a monthly stipend of R50,000, and plied her and her family every Christmas with fancy whiskies, wine, brandies and braai packs.
Zondo said Agrizzi’s version that Bosasa paid Mokonyane R50,000 monthly was supported by the contents of his black book “in which he recorded such payments using codes”.
“The finding is, therefore, that Bosasa did make monthly payments of R50,000 to Mokonyane over a certain
period and those payments had no lawful basis or cause.
“While Mokonyane denied receiving Christmas hampers of alcohol, meat and other beverages from Bosasa, the evidence strongly suggests the contrary. In this regard, Ms Thomas [Mokonyane’s personal assistant] confirmed she would liaise with Mokonyane’s sister about the arrival of items,” Zondo stated.
He said testimony of other witnesses corroborated the evidence that “Christmas” deliveries were made to Mokonyane on instruction by Bosasa executives.
Zondo said from evidence presented by witnesses at the inquiry, Agrizzi had requested that certain links between Bosasa and Mokonyane should be hidden.
“The insistence on hiding the link with Bosasa points to the arrangement being corrupt ,” he wrote.
Zondo said though Mokonyane denied Agrizzi’s evidence, the testimony was “was detailed and his evidence as to his role in signing off on this expenditure was consistent with the position he held in Bosasa”.
“Considering the foregoing analysis there were clearly extensive attempts by Bosasa and its leaders, through forms of inducement and gain, to influence Mokonyane in her position as a member of the national executive, the provincial executive and office bearer in organs of state,” Zondo wrote.
He said on the assessment of the evidence “when contrasted with Mokonyane’s bare denial, there is a sufficient basis for a finding that the facts as testified to by Agrizzi are established”.
“Agrizzi ascribed to Watson as the reason given by him for the conferral of extensive benefits by Bosasa on Mokonyane … that ‘she has a lot of clout’ and ‘we need her support for protection from the SIU (Special Investigating Unit) investigation, the Hawks and the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority].Zondo says there is ‘prima facie’ evidence of corruption against Nomvula MokonyaneJudge Raymond Zondo has called for the criminal prosecution of disgraced former communications minister and ANC stalwart Nomvula Mokonyane.POLITICS16 hours ago
“In the long run, the fact of the matter is the investigation and prosecution pursuant to the SIU report did grind to a halt.
“Mokonyane was at all material times a senior and influential person and office bearer within both the ANC and government. There is no direct evidence of any particular steps taken by Mokonyane towards stopping the investigation.
“However, the glaring question is what Bosasa was receiving in return for the multiple benefits bestowed upon Mokonyane. The Watson family’s long history with the ANC would have meant they were well attuned to where best within the ANC and government, there was the greatest prospect of generating influence,” the inquiry chair wrote in the nearly 1,000-page report.
Zondo said in terms of the constitution, a member of cabinet may not expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and private interests and they must act in accordance with a code of ethics prescribed by national legislation.
“In terms of the Executive Ethics Code, she was not permitted to use her position or any information entrusted to her to enrich herself or improperly benefit any other person, expose herself to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between her official responsibilities and her financial or personal interests or solicit or accept a benefit which constitutes improper influence.
“In respect of all of the benefits conferred upon her by Bosasa, she was in breach of her constitutional, legislative and ethical duties,” Zondo wrote.