Vincent Smith, the former African National Congress (ANC) MP entangled in allegations of corruption involving African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, is expected to make another appearance at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 14 October 2020.
This time he will be alongside the company’s former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Angelo Agrizzi.
Smith handed himself over to the authorities at the Alberton Police Station in Johannesburg and appeared in the same court just hours later. He faces charges of corruption and fraud and has pleaded not guilty.
The court subsequently granted him R30 000 bail.
Smith: It was a loan, not a bribe
Smith, the former chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on correctional services, has admitted to receiving close to R700 000 from the now scandal-plagued company. However in defence, the former MP has denied the money was a bribe and insists it was actually a loan granted to him from Agrizzi. Smith claims the funds were meant to go towards his daughter’s university fees.
He had appeared before the commission of inquiry into state capture to defend the so-called loan.
“I did not borrow any money from any company. My loan agreement was with Angelo Agrizzi. Angelo had asked me to help him with an unemployed son and I was able to help him with that. He helped me with my own son. There was a cordial relationship between me and Angelo. My loan was with Angelo. There is no reference to Bosasa,” he told the inquiry.
Agrizzi dropped bombshells when he first appeared before the inquiry himself, implicating a number of ANC and government bigwigs including former minister Nomvula Mokonyane and MP Cedric Frolick.
He claimed late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson saw both Smith and Frolick as being influential and figured they could help the company recover from its tarnished reputation. This was after the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) found that the company was giving bribes to senior correctional services officials, in exchange for helping them secure lucrative tenders.
Frolick also appeared before the proceedings where he vehemently denied receiving R40 000 from Bosasa but admitted to having known the Watson family.
Watson died in a car accident in August 2019, a day before he was expected to appear before an inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). He is accused of facilitating of corruption at his company.
Read the original article on The South African