Mokonyane shoots down home security claims at state capture inquiry

ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane has denied allegations that security upgrades at her home were paid for by Bosasa, saying the state was responsible for some upgrades and others were paid for by her late husband.
ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane has denied allegations that security upgrades at her home were paid for by Bosasa, saying the state was responsible for some upgrades and others were paid for by her late husband. 
Image: The Times

ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane has denied allegations that security upgrades at her home were paid for by Bosasa, saying the state was responsible for some upgrades and others were paid for by her late husband.

She testified at the state capture inquiry on Thursday about her relationship with the company.

Mokonyane’s name has been flagged by several witnesses at the inquiry, who claimed that Bosasa financed her 50th birthday party, security upgrades and sponsored her family’s Christmas groceries.

Commenting on the security upgrades, Mokonyane said: “My husband was responsible for the maintenance of the house, including even procuring the services of other people — which I am still using, even today.” 

Mokonyane previously appeared before the commission and denied claims she had a big birthday party at the Victoria Guest House in Krugersdorp. She made a U-turn on Thursday when she clarified that she did have a party, but had no idea who funded it.

“I was reaffirming the issue about a 50th birthday, and hence now when I got to hear about the 40th I then had to recall that in fact there was a dinner hosted [there].”

She told the commission that according to her knowledge, she was meant to have a private dinner with family, only to arrive at the venue to a big party — and she did not ask who had organised it.

Asked if she was aware of alcohol which apparently “filled” rooms at the venue, Mokonyane responded: “I don’t know, didn’t see anything. I was [the] birthday girl, sitting at my table.” 

The owner of the venue, Frederik Coetzee, earlier testified that he had arranged the party with former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi. Mokonyane, however, said she had been unaware of this and was not curious to find out who was behind the surprise bash.

She told the commission that she never saw Agrizzi at the party. “I don’t remember seeing Agrizzi there. He could have been in another room or something, I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to commit myself and say he was there — and by the way, I have no personal relationship with him.” 

She however confirmed that she had been friends with the late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson since 1990.

While Mokonyane could not furnish the commission with documents proving who was responsible for home security upgrades or maintenance, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo suggested it was “strange” that her late husband would call her former PA to contact “another person” each time something needed fixing at home, without Mokonyane’s knowledge.

Mokonyane, through her lawyer, asked to be excused after testifying due to ill health and also to cross-examine Agrizzi.

“She has very serious health concerns with comorbidities. This room is not conducive to her condition and what happens is each time she testifies there’s a subsequent character assassination of her in the media and there are leaks from journalists,” argued advocate Laurence Hodes.

“The request from my client is twofold: first, to have some finality on this matter — and if need be [she] will provide other documentation or whatever is required — and [she] asks to be excused after the testimony today.

“The second aspect ... is that there is a request on behalf of my client ... to apply to cross-examine Mr Agrizzi.”

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