Durban – The indictment sheet of the Investigating Directorate against former ANC MP Vincent Smith details a raft of payments he received from Bosasa companies.
The payments range from R10 000 to R300 000.
Some were clearly referenced while others were not, as they went into Smith’s three bank accounts in August 2016.
Smith claims the payments were not bribes, but instead that he received a a loan of R600 000 from Angelo Agrizzi, the former chief operations officer at Bosasa. Agrizzi is a co-accused.
The indictment also details how Smith purportedly tried to return the favour to Bosasa by rubbishing an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) when the matter came before the portfolio committee on correctional services (PCCS) which he chaired in Parliament.
“Accused 1 (Smith) was initially concerned about the SIU investigation into the DCS (Department of Correctional Services) tender fraud and expressed horror at the findings presented to the PCCS by then head of the SIU, Willie Hofmeyr.
“He was present in committee meetings where it was stated that Bosasa was implicated in the SIU’s report and he committed on behalf of the PCCS to investigate further once the report was finalised and to consider the relevance of the findings to continued contracts between Bosasa and the DCS.
“Notwithstanding the SIU recommendations, the contracts between Bosasa and the department continued until the last one of them was cancelled in February 2019 after the said company had notified the department of its intention to apply for voluntary liquidation.
“While the SIU investigation, as well as a number of press reports calling for the government to act against Bosasa, created pressure on parliamentarians to fulfil their oversight role and scrutinise the actions of the DCS, Accused 1, despite his initial critical stance towards the DCS and its relationship with Bosasa, did little to hold the DCS accountable for its ongoing relationship with Bosasa,” the state alleges.
Smith’s arrest was another high profile arrest emanating from the state capture commission.
On Wednesday, the Hawks arrested six of the seven people fingered in the R255m Free State asbestos project.
The seventh suspect, who is based in KwaZulu-Natal, where he recently got a top government job, is still on the run.
But the spokesperson of the Hawks in KZN, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, said they would nab him.
“We are still looking for the suspect. He keeps on promising to hand himself over. What we can say is that we will eventually get him,” Mhlongo said.
The suspect allegedly slipped out of his Richards Bay office upon hearing that Hawks investigators were on their way to him.
All suspects are expected to appear in court on Friday.
Before the high-profile arrest, the state capture commission was able to produce evidence that led to the February 2019 arrest of Agrizzi, former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder, former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham who worked for Mti’s department as a chief financial officer.