State Capture Inquiry

Sanef welcomes investigation of journalists on Bosasa's payroll

The Zondo Commission of Inquiry on Monday heard how journalists were paid bribes to report positively on Bosasa as well as alert the company when negative news was to be written about it.

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has named three journalists that were on Bosasa's payroll for bribes - Ntuli, someone who he only knew as Bongz from the Eastern Cape and former Sunday Times columnist Pinky Khoabane.

Tiso Blackstar associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy says the revelation of the three journalists who were allegedly paid by Bosasa took the industry by surprise.

Read: 'Knowing what we know about Bosasa, we deserve some answers from Ramaphosa'

Mr Agrizzi said that he handed over the money to Papa Leshabane for the payments of journalists and that R30 000 of the R71 000 meant for bribes went to journalists.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Tiso Blackstar associate editor

He says he asked Leshabane for the identity of the journalists. He says there were three journalists in all instances and he was not given full names.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Tiso Blackstar associate editor

Munusamy says Khoabane used to write very damning criticisms of journalists who reported on Bosasa and now Agrizzi has given evidence on why she was doing that.

Agrizzi also revealed names of PR consultants who were on Bosasa's payroll as Benedicta Dube, who has since died, and Stephen Laufer.

He says they paid PR agencies to discredit journalists and change the negative narrative around Bosasa.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Tiso Blackstar associate editor

Agrizzi also testified that former chairperson of the SAA Dudu Myeni allegedly received R300 000 a month. He says that Gavin Watson told him that the money was actually for Jacob Zuma, for the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Tiso Blackstar associate editor

He says what was strange was that the money was always in cash.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Tiso Blackstar associate editor

Munusamy says Agrizzi told the commission that the one-time money to Myeni was delivered in a Louis Vuitton handbag and later Myeni called to thank him for the choice of the bag.

Sanef's Katy Katopodis says the meeting with Commission on Friday was very productive. The meeting came in the wake of Judge Raymond Zondo's unhappiness with the conduct of some media houses leaking Agrizzi's affidavit before being presented before the commission.

We were able to discuss openly about where both parties sit and how we would be proceeding on a number of issues going forward.

Katy Katopodis, Sanef

Katapodis says the issue of journalists receiving bribes from Bosasa was widely discussed and that it welcomes investigations by the commission.

We called for this investigation and now we heard that the commission is properly investigating which journalists were on this so-called pay list.

Katy Katopodis, Sanef

To hear the rest of the conversations on Bosasa, listen below:


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