Cape Town: Former ANC MP and parliamentary committee chairperson Vincent Smith has been charged with corruption and fraud related to financial dealings with Bosasa.
Smith handed himself over to the police at the Alberton police station early on Thursday.
He subsequently appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court where he was charged along with Euroblitz 48 (Accused 2), a company he owns, and former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi (Accused 3).
Below is an explanation of the charges they face, as set out in the indictment:
All three parties are charged with corruption under Section 7 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (Precca).
It is alleged that Smith, while serving on several parliamentary oversight committees between 1999 and May 2019, received various gratifications from Bosasa or companies owned by Bosasa.
This included the installation of an electric fence and security system at Smith’s private residence to the value of R200 000, as well as R276 667 transferred to the bank account of Smith’s company Euroblitz on the instruction of Agrizzi.
The money was then transferred to Smith’s personal bank account. Smith has maintained this was a loan to cover his daughter’s education costs.
“Smith stands accused of accepting gratifications in the form of security upgrades to his home and cash transferred into his personal bank account via the bank account of his company, Euroblitz, in exchange for the use of his political influence as a member of Parliament for the ruling party, to shield Bosasa from accountability for corrupting officials in the Department of Correctional Services who awarded Bosasa contracts worth billions of rands,” said Investigations Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala.
Smith served as the chairperson of the portfolio committee on Jjustice and correctional services from 2014 to 2019.
He also served on the standing committee on public accounts from August 1999 to June 9, 2004; and again from 2014 to 2018.
Out of the three accused, Smith, in his personal capacity is the only one charged with fraud under section 51 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997.
“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 corrupt activities with which he, Euroblitz and Agrizzi are charged,” Twala explained.
The Investigating Directorate said it would add more charges.
“Charges emanating from a related investigation into the tax affairs of Smith and Euroblitz will be enrolled separately,” said Twala. | IOL