JOHANNESBURG, January 17 – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, on Thursday called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to cancel all existing government contracts with Bosasa and institute inquiry following a startling revelations that the company paid bribes to government and state-owned companies to win tenders.
On Wednesday, former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi told the Zondo Commission that Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson used his political ties to officials within the African National Congress (ANC) to win a lucrative catering, facilities management, and security contract for his company at various government institutions.
Agrizzi said Bosasa, now African Global Operations, spent between R4 million and R6 million per month to bribe officials in a bid to score lucrative contracts with government worth more than R10 billion.
Agrizzi testified that the monies were paid in cash, often hand delivered in cash bags. He implicated state-owned companies like Sasol, the Airports Company of South Africa, South African Airways, the Post Office and the Department of Correctional Services.
“Given this truly explosive testimony, I call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to instruct his government to immediately cancel all contracts and tenders with Bosasa, and place a strict moratorium on any new contracts with the company or any of its subsidiaries,” Maimane said.
“It is also becoming increasingly difficult for the president to avoid the DA’s earlier calls for an independent inquiry into Bosasa, covering the corrupt company’s full relationship with the ANC and the state – including the relationship between the president’s family and Bosasa. This inquiry should be set up immediately.”
Watson allegedly paid R500,000 to Ramaphosa’s campaign to become ANC president in 2017. Maimane said he has asked Ramaphosa when he will be paying back the “donation” received from Watson. He said Ramaphosa could not condemn state capture but avoid the same scrutiny when the alleged corruption involved him.
“The fact is that Ramaphosa received a R500,000 ‘donation’ from a company that has been paying the ANC bribes since 1999. He can no longer mislead the public into believing that he did not know,” Maimane said.
In November, the ANC said Ramaphosa would pay back the R500,000 donation that Watson made to fund his election campaign. Ramaphosa has said in a letter he wrote to the National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, that the money was paid into a trust fund account of his son Andile, without his knowledge. (ANA)