'I had an agreement with Agrizzi not Bosasa' - former MP Vincent Smith claps back on R615k ‘loan’
Smith appeared before the state capture inquiry on Friday where he confirmed receiving a loan, paid into his account between 2015 and 2016.
He told the commission he had a personal relationship with Agrizzi, who he had also assisted by helping his “unemployed son”.
In e-mail correspondence provided to the commission, Smith requested financial assistance from Agrizzi but did not state an exact figure.
Evidence leader Viwe Notshe SC questioned why this had been the case, while Zondo asked if the agreement had been contained in writing, showing an interest rate.
“I take the point chair ... there was no such agreement, I am not a lawyer but my understanding is that this particular transaction didn’t need a written agreement,” responded Smith.
The commission questioned if he was aware of Agrizzi's financial standing, to which he responded “no”.
Smith’s named was flagged by at least two witnesses at the commission.
Agrizzi earlier implicated him and various other politicians. He argued that pricey security upgrades were made at their homes while they also received monthly payments from Bosasa.
Another witness, electrician Charl Le Roux, also described the security upgrades he installed at Smith’s home in Roodepoort. These included the installation of an electric fence and a CCTV system with off-site monitoring capabilities.
He said Bosasa returned “on numerous occasions” to do maintenance on the equipment at Smith’s request. He estimated the value of the project at about R200,000.
While Smith said he had no relationship with Bosasa, he acknowledged there had been a long-standing relationship between him and the late CEO of the company, Gavin Watson.
“My relationship with the late Watson preceded my election to parliament. At the time of the unbanning of the ANC, it had a programme where we had to rebuild structures in the country and also develop communities.
“And the way we did that was to approach friendly business people. One of those was the late Watson because he was a comrade and he assisted us in many ways.”
Asked if Watson had a relationship with Bosasa when the duo met in 1990, he responded: “I don’t have the intricate details about his relationship with Bosasa, but I did know that he was a businessman, I did know he was a comrade. Whenever we sought assistance, he never hesitated to assist.”
The hearings are ongoing.
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