State Capture Inquiry

Joining the dots: Angelo Agrizzi, the Watson brothers and the Bosasa backstory

Corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa has been making headlines ever since former bigwig Angelo Agrizzi started testifying at the state capture inquiry.

The former Bosasa COO has been exposing government officials who have apparently received bribes from the company for years.

Read: Motsoeneng admits to accepting more than R1m from Bosasa

But how far back does the Bosasa story go? Investigative journalist Thanduxolo Jika and legal journalist Karyn Maughn connect the dots.

The history of Bosasa

Bosasa boss Gavin Watson and his three brothers - Daniel aka "Cheeky", Valence and Ronnie - were born on a farm in the Eastern Cape.

The Xhosa-speaking siblings rose to fame in the late 1980s for their anti-apartheid activism and their role in the struggle for freedom.

The four Watson brothers drew the attention of political leaders and security police for their liberal political stance, forging connections with many ANC affiliates.

The Bosasa empire is estimated at anything more than R6 billion.

Karyn Maughn, legal journalist and Tiso Blackstar specialist reporter

They put themselves on the map in a public way through defying segregation around sport.

Karyn Maughn, legal journalist and Tiso Blackstar specialist reporter

Also read: Sanef welcomes investigation of journalists on Bosasa's payroll

Bosasa was once known as Dyambu Holdings and the initial directors of the company included prominent ANC members such as Baleka Mbete and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The Watsons later took over the company that later became Bosasa. It won the first key tender to run the Lindela deportation centre in Johannesburg in 1996 with the help of former prisons boss Linda Mti.

Present day testimony

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC MP Vincent Smith, Tom Moyane, Nomgcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi, Vincent Magagula and Winnie Ngwenya are some of the high-ranking government officials implicated in Agrizzi testimony so far.

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

Jika and Maughn agree that all those implicated in receiving bribes from the scandal-plagued government contractor should be called to account.

We need to press people like Baleka Mbete.

Karyn Maughn, legal journalist and Tiso Blackstar specialist reporter

We hope that those that are implicated would come forward to deny allegation or subject themselves to cross-examinations.

Thanduxolo Jika, investigations editor at the Mail & Guardian

Jika adds that the quality of Agrizzi's evidence needs to be tested because he is not a neutral whistleblower.

When you're dealing with somebody who says they are a whistleblower, you still need to understand which angles they are coming from.

Thanduxolo Jika, investigations editor at the Mail & Guardian

Angelo Agrizzi has basically given us a 101 on how to rig a tender.

Karyn Maughn, legal journalist and Tiso Blackstar specialist reporter

Listen to the full break-down on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
W Cape govt investigating if it has any Bosasa contracts

W Cape govt investigating if it has any Bosasa contracts

Premier Helen Zille has ordered that all Bosasa linked contracts be investigated following Agrizzi's testimony at the commission.

Sanef welcomes investigation of journalists on Bosasa's payroll

Sanef welcomes investigation of journalists on Bosasa's payroll

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi on Monday dropped names of three journalists that he claims were on Bosasa's payroll for bribes.

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

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

Political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana says the public has good reason to be concerned after the recent revelations about Bosasa.

'Ramaphosa needs to explain himself about Bosasa'

'Ramaphosa needs to explain himself about Bosasa'

National Chairperson of the EFF, Dali Mpofu explains what its presser was about and why Ramaphosa needs to 'explain' himself.

'ANC officials fingered in state capture should quit before month end' - Malema

'ANC officials fingered in state capture should quit before month end' - Malema

The EFF leader has also asked Ramapohosa to take the country into his confidence over Bosasa.

Will Agrizzi's testimony hurt the ANC 2019 elections prospects?

Will Agrizzi's testimony hurt the ANC 2019 elections prospects?

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi says Agrizzi evidence will not be the only reason the ANC lose support at the elections.

Motsoeneng admits to accepting more than R1m from Bosasa

Motsoeneng admits to accepting more than R1m from Bosasa

The former SABC COO insists that Bosasa gave him more than R1.1 million to fight his legal battles for nothing in return.

Can Agrizzi's testimony be used against him in a court of law?

Can Agrizzi's testimony be used against him in a court of law?

Professor of Law at Wits University says if the Hawks use Agrizzi's testimony and find indirect evidence, he can be charged.

Popular articles
Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

SAA is on its knees, cap in hand, asking taxpayers for R2 billion this month. Unions must be careful, warns Guy Leitch (SA Flyer).

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

"This problem is bigger than just a Kingswood problem. The relevant processes will unfold," says College Head Colleen Vassiliou.

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Eusebius engages callers on the Richard Branson tweet that has been widely criticised for lacking diversity.

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

The money-pit airline is fighting for its life. Bruce Whitfield interviews Theto Mahlakoana, a senior political reporter at EWN.

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.