The corruption and fraud case against former parliamentarian and ANC member, Vincent Smith, was postponed at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. This latest postponement is because of the legal team of former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi who said because of the state of his health he could not stand trial.
He has to continue seeking medical attention, and provide the state with a medical certificate to explain the health status. Last month Smith appeared in court without Agrizzi, after the court agreed to separate their trial.
The Investigating Directorate (ID) made an application under Section 157(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act to have the matter of Agrizzi and Smith separated.
The Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court granted the application to not infringe on Smith’s constitutional right to fair and speedy trial. It comes in the wake of Agrizzi’s lawyer, Mannie Witz, submitting a medical report that Agrizzi is momentarily unfit to stand trial.
This morning Witz said Agrizzi’s status medically is that he is still in the same condition. He is permanently reliant of oxygen, at this stage he is confined to home except for Friday when he goes from the lift from his apartment down to a garage, a few strides to the car and drive to the police station to report, they bring a book out, he signs then goes back to his apartment.
“His medical condition is unfortunately not good, to keep alive he relies on oxygen and a cocktail of medication that he takes twice a day,” said Witz. Witz said it was not a delaying tactic and in fact Agrizzi wished he was well enough to attend the court.
“The state is now of the opinion that they would like to possibly have him medically examined by doctors of their choice which I find no problem at all. We would be more than happy to cooperate unlike some cases with disputes, I am not going to mention names.
“But the surprising thing is anticipating this we had an intensive consultation on Zoom with the doctor that’s been treating him (Agrizzi) and kept him alive for 59 days, when critically and released on bail, the doctors gave the opinion in writing.
“They withstood interrogation by the state, they thoroughly went through everything. The doctor said this man was lucky to be alive and chances of standing trial are very minimal. If they have any disputes, we will cooperate,” said Witz.
Smith’s legal team has put it to the state prosecutor and the prosecution team that they want a final indictment, they want to know exactly what charges he is facing so that they can prepare adequate defence. They said if the state had a strong case, the indictment would have been given already to the defence team for Smith.
ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said at the last sitting the ID notified the court on looming additional charges to be added against Smith in the same matter. Smith faces charges of corruption and fraud.
Seboka said the charges stem from Bosasa through Agrizzi, offering allegedly Smith gratifications in the form of security upgrades to his Gauteng home and Smith’s further accepting of cash transferred into his personal bank account via the bank account of his company, Euroblitz.
Smith’s fraud charge emanates from his failure to disclose to the Registrar of parliamentary members’ interests the gratifications that he received from BOSASA, pursuant to the alleged corrupt activities with which he, Euroblitz and Agrizzi are charged.
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