Angelo Agrizzi’s claims 'the fabric of lies', insists Kevin Wakeford

Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi delivering an explosive testimony at the state capture inquiry.
Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi delivering an explosive testimony at the state capture inquiry.
Image: Alaister Russell

Former Port Elizabeth business leader Kevin Wakeford has denied former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi’s allegations against him, saying they were “malicious, a gross fabrication and the fabric of lies”.

Agrizzi, who is expected to appear in front of the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture later on Tuesday, told the inquiry earlier that Wakeford had received R100,000 a month to help Gavin Watson’s company, Bosasa, “resolve its Sars issues”.

But Wakeford, CEO of state-owned arms procurement agency Armscor, denied any involvement in any wrongdoing.

“I have sacrificed and dedicated much of my life to integrity and ethical leadership often to the detriment of me and my extended family. I have been ostracised and side-lined as a result of my involvement in whistleblowing activities.

“The commission into the collapse of the rand in 2002 and my support to the former Deputy Director General of the Department of Justice, Mr Mike Tshishonga, during his damning whistle blowing revelations in 2003 and 2004 bear testimony to this,” he said in a statement.

“The award winning journalist and author Barry Sergeant’s book, The Assault on the Rand, is an excellent record of both these matters.” Wakeford confirmed his professional relationship as a retained consultant to Bosasa spanning a period of about eight years.

“At all times I avoided conflicts of interest by disclosing my relationships. There is sufficient evidence to validate such” he said.

Wakeford said his advisory role covered a range of issues relating to the political economy.

“I have been the Armscor CEO since May 1 2015. Armscor has no contracts with Bosasa. In fact Armscor has no contracts with any of the Gupta linked companies either,” he said.

“We have achieved three clean audits and one unqualified audit during my tenure as CEO. I am committed to clear my name and request that all stakeholders exercise patience as I work with my legal team to prepare.”

The Port Elizabeth-born and bred Wakeford confirmed that he had requested the Armscor board to place him on special leave last Tuesday to allow him time to prepare his response and to give him time to clear his name.

“One cannot expect Armscor employees to be led by a CEO whose integrity is being questioned in the public domain, hence the period of special leave,” he said.