‘Frolick got bags of cash for help’
Agrizzi makes more bombshell claims at Zondo inquiry
Senior ANC MP Cedric Frolick was allegedly used by Bosasa‚ at a R40‚000 monthly premium‚ to facilitate meetings between the company and various politicians.
As far back as 2010‚ Frolick was allegedly tasked with “crossing the impasse” between Bosasa and then correctional services portfolio committee chair Vincent Smith.
This is according to former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi‚ who‚ in a bombshell testimony at the state capture inquiry on Friday implicated Frolick in a corrupt relationship with the company dating back almost 10 years.
Frolick‚ the National Assembly’s house chair for committees‚ was said to be the middle man who massaged relationships with Bosasa’s management and ANC politicians it needed to further its business interests with the state.
Frolick said on Friday that he was driving and thus not watching Agrizzi’s testimony.
Asked if he would respond to the serious allegations, Frolick said: “I’m not going to deal with it that way because I understand he is still on the witness stand. And I don’t know what he can say next, so it will be unfair of me, on a piecemeal basis, to respond.
“I’ve discussed it with my legal person and we are getting the transcripts once he’s completed his testimony.
“[We will] study it and then be in touch with the Zondo Commission because that’s the forum where we must deal with things.”
Agrizzi, meanwhile, said he had first been introduced to Frolick in about 2010 by Bosasa boss Gavin Watson’s brother, Cheeky. Frolick recently told the Sunday Times he had a 20year relationship with Cheeky.
According to Agrizzi‚ Frolick was flown from Cape Town with another person‚ Bhuti Khompela‚ to visit Bosasa’s business park.
“[Gavin Watson] stressed to us that Frolick would be instrumental in assisting to cross the impasse that had developed with Vincent Smith Smith at that stage was very anti Bosasa; he did not even want to meet Bosasa‚” Agrizzi said.
Agrizzi said they discussed “how to deal with [Smith]”.
Agrizzi said he drafted an introduction letter and attached it to Bosasa’s existing portfolio‚ which Frolick was to hand over to Smith when he returned to Cape Town.
He alleged that at the close of the meeting‚ Watson slipped a security bag filled with cash into Frolick’s jacket pocket.
“[Watson] said to me we have to remember to arrange R40‚000 that has to be delivered to Frolick‚” Agrizzi said.
Agrizzi is also in possession of an invoice for Frolick’s stay at a City Lodge hotel in September 2010‚ which was sent to Bosasa for payment of R2‚700.
About 10 days after his initial meeting with Frolick‚ Agrizzi said, Watson told him to go to Port Elizabeth and handed him a parcel of cash‚ R40‚000 in R200 notes‚ which he was to hand to Frolick. He said he met Frolick at Valence Watson’s (Gavin’s brother) home.
“He started talking about the strategy on how to handle [Smith]‚” Agrizzi said.
Valence allegedly handed the bag of money to Frolick.
A week later‚ Agrizzi said, he was told by Watson to accompany Gibson Njenje (Bosasa’s chair at the time) to Cape Town for an “introductory meeting” with Smith.
They met Frolick outside parliament and then waited in an office for Smith.
“Frolick walked in with Smith. He was visibly annoyed that we were there ... He was very abrupt,” Agrizzi said.
Smith has since been implicated in state capture after allegations emerged that he had received upgrades to his home by Bosasa and that the company paid for his daughter’s tertiary education.
Frolick’s alleged relationship with the Watsons also seemed to bear fruit in 2016‚ when he arranged for justice and correctional services minister Michael Masutha to stay at a Port Elizabeth property belonging to the Watson family.
Earlier this year‚ Masutha revealed in parliament that he had spent a weekend at the property and that Watson had arrived at the home and tried to discuss Bosasa’s contract with correctional services.
Frolick told the Sunday Times arranging the meeting was “nothing else but a good gesture by the people of the Friendly City to assist and make visitors feel welcome”.
Agrizzi’s testimony is continuing.