Billionairs battleground

The ongoing damning testimony of former Bosasa CEO Angelo Agrizzi in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, has pitted the Watson family against the Guptas, in a contest of state capture kingpins.

Agrizzi has painted an extensive network of bribes and corruption emanating from the Watsons and not linked to the Gupta family.

At the head of the Watson’s Bosasa empire is Gavin Watson, and his brother, Daniel ‘Cheeky’ Watson.

Bosasa was formerly known as Daymba Holdings, a former ANC Women’s League front company, which at the time had shareholders that included Baleka Mbethe and Nomvula Mokonyane.

Bosasa, according to Agrizzi’s testimony, has spent between R4m and R6m a month in cash bribes, which were used to bribe various persons in position of authority in certain state entities, from Union bosses to government officials to win lucrative contracts at state owned and mining companies, exactly like the Guptas.

Nomvula Mokonyane appears as one of the prominent ANC leaders to be on the Bosasa payroll.

Agrizzi was asked by Gavin Watson, Bosasa boss, to provide the minister with Christmas gifts that included 120 cases of cold drinks, 14 cases of premium whisky and 40 cases of beer among other things. In addition to the security upgrades at Mokonyane’s house in 2002, there was a R50 000 monthly bribe as well as an annual amount of R120 000 as Christmas gift.

ANC MP Vincent Smith was one of prominent ANC figures on Bosasa’s payroll, paying for his daughter’s university fees at the prestigious Alberswyth University in Wales. That was when Smith was chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services and he was paid an additional R100 000 a month to secure Bosasa dealings with Correctional Services.

A further R500 000 a month was paid to officials of Correctional Services and this later increased to R750 000 when ex-SARS boss Tom Moyane was appointed as National Commissioner of Correctional Services.

There is no doubt that the ANC is on trial at the Zondo Commission and no amount of spinning by Zizi Kodwa can dismiss that fact.

This is a party in denial of its role in state capture and general corruption.

While the Guptas corruption earned them billions, with Atul’s net worth alone estimated at R10bn, the Watsons’ aren’t far off, with Gavin’s net worth sitting at R5bn, followed by his brother Daniel, at R1,2bn.

At the core of this massive corruption by two families is the ANC – a political party that must now face up to the industrial-scale corruption of its members. 

By Lawrence Lolo Letsoalo

Image created by élan Concepts

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