Johannesburg – ANC MP Cedric Frolick has denied accusations that he was paid R40,000 by former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
Frolick took the stand at the Zondo commission on Friday and read a statement related to allegations made by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi.
Agrizzi appeared at the inquiry last year and implicated a number of ANC politicians in what he alleged was a Bosasa bribery scheme involving politicians with aim of securing government contracts.
Agrizzi alleged that Frolick was in-charge of Parliament’s committees in 2010 and Watson saw him as influential. He said Bosasa had been experiencing reputational damage at the time and Watson wanted to turn that around.
The company had been investigated by the Special Investigative Unit which found allegations that senior correctional services officials were taking bribes from the company which enabled it to be awarded dozens of tenders.
Agrizzi said Watson approached Frolick to help and was asked to arrange a meeting with the chairperson for the Parliament’s committee on correctional services, Vincent Smith.
Agrizzi said he saw Watson hand Frolick a bag filled with cash on one occasion. In another occasion, he saw Watson’s brother, Cheeky Watson, hand Frolick a bag filled with cash.
Agrizzi also alleged that Bosasa had paid for Frolick’s stay at a guest lodge.
Frolick denied allegations that he ever received money from Watson.
“I did not receive money from Bosasa, let alone monthly payments,” Frolick said.
He explained that he has had a long relationship with the Watson family. Frolick did not deny the evidence that he had facilitated a meeting between Smith and Bosasa.
He explained that Watson had issues with Parliament and complained that his letters to the correctional services committee were not being answered.
He felt his company was being sidelined on government contracts and was contemplating litigation.
Frolick said he agreed to help arrange a meeting with Smith. The meeting took place in Parliament in 2010, but Frolick said he did not expect Agrizzi to show up as he expected Watson.
Agrizzi was accompanied by Gibson Njenje, who was a board member at Bosasa.
The two were taken to an office in Parliament and then Smith was brought in.
Frolick said he did not stay long as he was busy with work. He said when he came back to the room the meeting was over.
Agrizzi and Njenje said Smith was busy and the meeting ended.
Frolick said Agrizzi made allegations against him without providing any paperwork to support his bribery claims.
On the claims that Bosasa funded his stay at a guest lodge, Frolick said that the stay was paid for by the rugby union which he was part of.
“In terms of an invoice from Blacks Travel, that was for accommodation when I attended a test rugby match as a member of the rugby union. I was under the impression this was a payment made by the rugby union,” he said.
The inquiry continues.