Home South Africa News Former ANC MP Vincent Smith’s corruption case postponed

Former ANC MP Vincent Smith’s corruption case postponed

Vincent Smith

Another warrant of arrest, not to be enforced until his next scheduled court appearance, has been issued against former Bosasa COO turned whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi.

This after Agrizzi failed to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting in Palm Ridge alongside his co-accused former ANC MP Vincent Smith on Thursday.

Sindisiwe Twala, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate, said Agrizzi was not in court because “he is still in the intensive care unit”.

She said Agrizzi’s lawyer, Mannie Witz, had requested the warrant of arrest to be rolled over until the next appearance.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Peter Serunye told the court the State has received the guarantees for the Italian property owned by Agrizzi.

The pair were charged with corruption, while Smith faces additional charges of fraud for alleged payments made to his company, Euroblitz, in 2015 and 2016.

The State alleges the payments were made to Smith to silence his opposition to Bosasa during parliamentary committee meetings. Smith has pleaded not guilty and maintains the money was a loan from Agrizzi, which Agrizzi denies.

The matter was postponed to 9 March 2021.

Agrizzi had a heart attack in hospital on 21 October. When his condition worsened, he was transferred to a private facility. The heart attack happened a week after the Specialised Commercialised Crime Court denied Agrizzi bail for allegedly making payments to Smith.

This decision was later overturned and he was granted bail by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Last week, Agrizzi was issued with a warrant after he failed to appear alongside his co-accused in another matter which involved a decade-long Special Investigating Unit report handed to the NPA in 2009. The report found an improper and corrupt relationship existed between Bosasa, former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham and former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti, News24 previously reported.

In exchange for cars, homes, cash, flights and holidays, among other gifts, Gillingham and Mti allegedly colluded with Bosasa executives to ensure the company was awarded four lucrative Department of Correctional Services tenders between 2004 and 2007 valued at more than R1.8 billion.

The two, together with former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder, appeared in the dock and the case was postponed to 18 February to allow the defence more time to study the docket.

-The Citizen

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