Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi was denied bail at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Wednesday, where he made his first appearance on a charge of corruption.
The charge is related to gratifications Agrizzi allegedly gave to former ANC MP Vincent Smith in the form of security upgrades to his home and cash transferred into his personal bank account via a Euroblitz bank account.
These gratifications were allegedly in exchange for the use of Smith’s political influence as a ruling party MP to shield Bosasa from accountability for corrupting officials in the correctional services department who had awarded Bosasa contracts worth billions of rand.
Smith’s case was postponed until December 3.
The state had opposed bail for Agrizzi, arguing that he had failed to disclose the extent of his assets in SA and offshore.
Prosecutor Arno Rossouw argued that the court needed sufficient information to ensure a bail applicant would not abscond after being granted bail.
“The problem is not that the applicant [Agrizzi] has assets offshore. The problem is that he failed to declare those assets to the court when he applied for bail,” he said.
However, Agrizzi said the assets transferred offshore were with the blessing of the SA Reserve Bank and they were for investment purposes.
Magistrate Phillip Venter said according to the prosecution there was a case against Agrizzi.
Venter also said bail was a means to secure the accused’s presence at a trial and was not to be used as a penal measure in anticipation of a conviction.
He said while there was a presumption of innocence in our law, the state has made out a strong case that Agrizzi might abscond to another country if granted bail, given the amount of offshore investments he had not disclosed during his bail application.
Venter denied the bail application.
By Ernest Mabuza – TimesLIVE