New mystery twist to Watson dossier saga
Kevin Wakeford’s name crops up in newly released documents
Former Eastern Cape business boss Kevin Wakeford’s name has again surfaced in fallout from an ongoing Bosasa scandal as explosive new documents emerged online this week.
On Monday, online news portal BizNews released the documents alleging that Bosasa “whistleblower” Angelo Agrizzi’s appearance before the Zondo Commission into state capture was riddled with lies.
The so-called “Bosasa Files” were compiled by late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson, who was killed in a car crash in Johannesburg on August 26, and his nephew, chartered accountant Jared Watson.
The documents, due to be presented to a Sars tax commission of inquiry two days after Watson’s death, point out alleged relationships Agrizzi had with DA officials and high-profile media figures, as well as his alleged attempts to wrestle away a lucrative department of correctional services contract from Bosasa.
Jared Watson confirmed to reporters that he personally compiled a document which disputes Agrizzi’s testimony that only Gavin Watson was authorised to sign off payments made by Bosasa.
“I started assisting with investigating allegations raised against Bosasa and Gavin from late 2018, as a result of allegations that were in the public domain, and then more extensively from January this year once Agrizzi went on record and then we could investigate the truthfulness of his accusations,” Watson told the Dispatch on Tuesday.
Angelo Agrizzi requested that his son be allowed to advise Armscor and the dept of defence
“It is not my view, it is fact, that each and every document there can prove a number of lies Agrizzi told the commission.
“It is not disputable.”
He said Agrizzi would say, for instance, he was never in a position to approve anything in the business without a director co-signing.
“That is a verifiable lie,” he said.
The document suggests that a director’s meeting held in February 2006 took a resolution that Agrizzi and former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder be given powers to sign “any documents and do all things as may effect and/or bind the company and/or any of its subsidiary companies in any matter whatsoever”.
Contacted for his response, Agrizzi said he would not “comment on infatuations and allegations” made against him and that he would only comment on “facts”.
Among the documents is an e-mail which showed that a meeting with then-Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford and Agrizzi’s son Giancarlo Agrizzi was on the cards, but was cancelled.
When Wakeford became aware that Giancarlo Agrizzi wanted to “advise the department of defence” Wakeford cancelled the meeting, according to the site.
According to BizNews, Angelo Agrizzi requested that his son be allowed to advise Armscor and the department of defence on defence and security policy through his Indlala Group of Companies, which claims to offer “defence and security” services.
Wakeford has confirmed his professional relationship as a retained consultant to Bosasa spanning a period of about eight years.
In his testimony to the Zondo Commission in January, Angelo Agrizzi made serious allegations against him, including that he was paid R100,000 a month for helping Bosasa “resolve its Sars issues”.
“At one stage, Bosasa was encountering constant audits by the South African Revenue Services [Sars],” Agrizzi said in an affidavit, adding that Wakeford would often be consulted on issues Bosasa was facing.
“Kevin Wakeford would be paid a monthly fee for services provided,” he alleged.
Wakeford told the Dispatch he was aware a document had been compiled, but referred queries to Jared Watson.
In the 1990s, while he was CEO of the Port Elizabeth regional chamber of commerce and industry, Wakeford was known as “Mr Coega” for championing the project.
He also served as economic adviser to former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela.
In 2005, he was named caretaker chief executive of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation.
In February this year Wakeford left Armscor after being granted special leave to prepare evidence to submit to the Zondo Commission.
He had already tendered his resignation on October 30, 2018.
In the Armscor statement announcing that he would be leaving, Wakeford said: “It is my intention to clear my name but I believe it is unfair to lead the organisation while these allegations remain unresolved.”
There are other startling allegations contained in the document.
Attached e-mails suggest that an e-mail account was set up in Gavin Watson’s name when it was in fact controlled by Angelo Agrizzi.
The documents also contain images of the DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach and Werner Horn, allegedly in Agrizzi’s home in Fourways.
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