Right of Reply. Giancarlo Agrizzi: ‘I’m no state capture specialist; just a naive young man’

Angelo Agrizzi became a household name after telling the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that he and the – now dead – CEO of contractor company Bosasa, Gavin Watson, bribed Dudu Myeni, the incompetent former South African Airways boss, with a regular cash payment of R300,000. Myeni is alleged to be a longstanding close friend of former president Jacob Zuma. Agrizzi has become something of a hero in some circles because he is the whistleblower on alleged corruption and state capture; on the other hand, many of his allegations have raised questions as to whether he can be trusted to tell the truth. His son Giancarlo Agrizzi, meanwhile, is also accused of playing a key role in the saga. Agrizzi is linked to figures in the DA, according to the Bosasa Files – a dossier that has as its central theme exposing Agrizzi’s key motive as being industrial espionage and using the media and testimony to the commission to create propaganda to protect himself and his cronies. Agrizzi junior, who was also mentioned in the Bosasa Files, approached BizNews to clarify facts, but subsequently declined an interview request and refused to answer 10 simple, direct questions about his business links with DA employees and office-bearers. Instead, Giancarlo Agrizzi produced a statement in order to “set the record straight”. His central message, through the meandering, is that he denies being a state capture specialist and is basically a naive young man. – Jackie Cameron

Hi Mr Agrizzi

I’m following up on the email you sent to Alec Hogg.

We are very keen to hear the full details from you as we are equally keen to clear up any inconsistencies as soon as possible. Can you itemise the points you are concerned about in an email?

We would also like to chat to you for a podcast. Are you available today? I can call you via Skype to record the interview.

Last, but not least, we would appreciate your comment on the following points:

  1. What is the DA link – directly through the organisation and indirectly through individuals who work for, represent and are affiliated – to the Agrizzi family?
  2. Has the DA ever received any donations or assistance of any kind from the Agrizzi family or any related companies? How much money has been received by the DA and or what type of support? Specifically for what?
  3. What is your response to the apparent link between two DA employees and the Agrizzi family?
  4. Why has the Agrizzi family actively nurtured links with DA members? Please clarify the facts for us.
  5. What was Glynnis Breytenbach doing at an Agrizzi family house? What was the nature of the visit? Is this Breytenbach (please see the picture, here: https://www.biznews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/035_Breytembach-a-the-home-of-Agrizzi.pdf) – and what is the exact location that this picture was taken? Please clarify the relationship between Breytenbach and the Agrizzi family and their entities.
  6. What was Werner Horn doing at an Agrizzi house (apart from playing with a monkey – see picture: https://www.biznews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/036_Horn-a-the-home-of-Agrizzi.pdf)? What was the nature of his visit?
  7. Who else in the DA – political representatives and employees – has visited the Agrizzi home and homes and why?
  8. How many other DA representatives, local and national and staff members, have visited the Agrizzi family at their homes or have business dealings with this family?
  9. How is the Agrizzi family connected to journalist Adriaan Basson? Have you or anyone in your family contributed information to his various stories on corruption over the years? Are you involved in providing information to Mr Basson for his books – past and future?
  10. Do Agrizzi family members take pictures/keep records of all their visitors?

My skype address is jackie.cameron.XX. I can also call you on a mobile or landline if that works for you for the interview.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards

Jackie Cameron

Dealings with Indlala, Kevin Wakeford and other questions

From Giancarlo Agrizzi

It seems that there’s is a lot of controversy around the formation of Indlala Group of Companies as well as my involvement with Kevin Wakeford. I thought it was important for me to set the record straight. I also have been asked by various news agencies regarding the dealings of my father Angelo Agrizzi, I feel that now is as a good a time as any to clear up any confusions there may be around my knowledge into my father’s affairs.

Let’s perhaps start with the Indlala question as it seems this is a major point of contention and perhaps is the most difficult one to explain. In July 2014, a friend and myself decided to try our hand at opening a company. We were university friends who studied in the same department at the University of the Witwatersrand. Both of us were university students with big dreams and hopes of making money as I’m sure most university students have. We mulled over ways and ideas of making money and somewhere between late nights studying and many jokes, we came up with this idea of a consultancy company. If my memory serves me correctly, we wanted to provide research reports to whoever needed them. We came up with the idea of calling the company Indlala, in-fact we later realised it means starving or starvation when translated to English, so you can probably see it really had no significance. Moving back to the point, we were young friends wanting to try our hand at a business, naturally we wanted to network our new business, so I spoke to my father (Angelo Agrizzi) about our idea. I don’t fully understand what happened after that, but this is the best recollection of the events. I recall asking if he (My father) would assist us in networking with the right people who could point us in the right direction. I recall my father suggesting a young man who was the son of someone he worked with or knew, and he believed this person would be able to add value to our “company”. I intentionally place company in inverted commas because well although it was registered with CIPC and we had started setting up websites etc, it really was just an idea and not a company.

Later in 2014, a very informal breakfast was arranged at clearwater malls ‘ciao baby’ with myself, my father, Luyolo Mpithi, Linda Mti and Vukani Mti (the son I spoke of earlier). Now the importance of mentioning this meeting is because at some points during this entire saga, this meeting has been the centre of controversy around my relationship with the Mti family and who orchestrated this meeting. In the essence of laying down my side, I can’t say exactly who is responsible for arranging this meeting, I don’t know whether Gavin Watson requested or ‘pressured’ my father into having this meeting, all I know is that I sought advice on who we could speak to about or company from my father and a meeting with Linda Mti and Vukani Mti ensued. (I understand earlier this year I submitted to the citizen that my father was pressurised by Watson but having now taken time to think about everything and not being pressurised into given a statement I can confidently say I don’t know whether he was pressurised or not). At this meeting we didn’t really discuss anything about government work, and it was really just what I would term, an introductory meeting. Vukani Mti basically just explained who he was and where he had worked, and we thought there may be some potential to work together and maybe include him into our business. This wasn’t something isolated, we also brought on two other smaller directors, Ms Dikeledi Selowa and I don’t even recall the other ladies name.

The point I’m making is that we were just young guys in varsity looking for opportunities, we didn’t even really understand this would later become the major issue it is today. The fact that Luyolo Mphithi and Ms Dikeledi Selowa are current DA members is irrelevant because neither of us at that stage had any influence or reach in realistic terms and we only viewed each other as friends not party members. The inclusion of Vukani Mti is perhaps what could be perceived as being more questionable but nothing came out of this, in fact we later realised the company was not going to be this great success we thought it could be and we all went our separate ways, I think Luyolo took up occupation at Mpumalanga Legislature doing research work and I myself took up occupation with the ANC in the Gauteng Legislature. There is this perception being created that Indlala was something more than what it really was, which is a couple of varsity students trying their luck at opening a business.

In a nutshell, there is no evidence to provide any other information contrary to this. In fact, the bank account of Indlala probably was never even used. I can’t confirm this with the bank statements because I don’t even know what the account number is for this, but I am trying to get hold of them to close this matter off once and for all. Our linked in profile and other material of the company were just marketing materials used, some of it may not have been completely accurate but we were just trying to market ourselves as a company already in operation. What I can say without a doubt and without fear of being proven wrong is that Indlala never worked with any state entity, it was not used to aid or abed corrupt activities it didn’t receive any external funding and never did anything illegal. It was further not used as a vehicle to do anything for Bosasa or anyone connected to the Bosasa. We were trying to establish a company, but nothing ever materialised and so picking certain information to make it appear another way would be reckless and perhaps part of an agenda, if anyone has any other proof to suggest otherwise, I urge them to bring that proof to the table. I have submitted whatever I have in my possession together with this statement.

Moving to the Kevin Wakeford matter which I think will easily be cleared up when we look everything and not just snippets. In the Bosasa files, there is a claim made that Kevin cancelled a meeting with me after finding out I wanted to consult though Indlala on military and strategic matters. This nothing more than a blatant lie and I think for me this is the main issue with this entire Bosasa saga. I had met with Kevin Wakeford previously to discuss Indlala and get his perspectives on what we should do, this was long before Wakeford took up employment at Armscor. I was introduced to Kevin Wakeford by my father, he was someone I think was successful and because I was young and ambitious I wanted to get advice anywhere I could. The meeting was really not more than Wakeford suggesting how we can get investments and what challenges we may face. We didn’t even speak about a single government entity at any stage. I hadn’t had any communication with Wakeford until later in 2015 when I emailed Wakeford requesting a meeting (emails below) requesting to meet to discuss my studies and catch up. Wakeford’s employment as the CEO of Armscor had nothing to with the meeting as the email clearly illustrates. Wakeford claims he cancelled the meeting but if you look at the evidence submitted in the Watson files I was not sent that cancellation. In fact on the 9th of September 2019 I emailed asking to cancel the meeting because I had urgent meetings to attend to, clearly Wakeford did not cancel the meeting with me.

Irrespective of whether or not the meeting was cancelled with me, what I am putting to question is the reasons it was cancelled. If the meeting was cancelled because Wakeford became aware that I was trying to do consulting work why then were two appointments scheduled for the 11th of November which I again cancelled. In fact, on all occasions where there was a meeting scheduled with Wakeford the emails clearly demonstrate that I was the one who cancelled these meetings and not Wakeford. I know that Wakeford knows the truth around this and given that there was nothing untoward in these meetings I am struggling to understand why he is attempting to make it look like something that it was not. I consulted with Kevin on various things, mainly studies and this is clear in the way I address Kevin as ‘Prof’. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have been asked to comment on various other questions including my fathers relationship with the official opposition and or questions related to Bosasa. I want to make it clear that my father and I have never spoken in depth about Bosasa, both when he worked there and when he didn’t, I have very little knowledge about anything at Bosasa, I can’t say who is right and who is wrong or who is telling the truth or not because I don’t know the full picture. It would be best for to get this information directly from the parties and not me, unfortunately I cant help you with this. What I can say is that I have not been involved in any of this, I have tried to keep my family out of this and would appreciate that my statement clarifies any questions anyone has regarding my involvement.

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