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Agrizzi: ‘Watson believed he was bulletproof with Zuma on his side’

Bosasa whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi says Gavin Watson visited Nkandla for the first time soon after an expose about its cost.

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi on the third day of his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Bosasa whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi claims his former boss Gavin Watson believed his alleged friendship with former President Jacob Zuma made him "bulletproof".

On his eighth day of testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture, Agrizzi has been testifying about Watson's relationship with Zuma and former South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni.

He says Myeni facilitated meetings with Zuma at Nkandla and that she shared with Watson and Agrizzi a file on a Hawks investigation into Bosasa.

Agrizzi says Watson was introduced to Zuma by East London guest lodge owner Zuki Madonga before he became president.

He says Myeni facilitated meetings later and adds Bosasa gave her R300,000 in cash every month for Zuma's foundation of which she was chairperson.

Agrizzi says Watson visited Nkandla for the first time soon after an expose about its cost.

“He believed he was totally bulletproof with Mr Zuma on his side.”

He said Watson often bragged in work meetings about meeting politicians: “He would always go out of his way to tell everyone that he saw the president.”

Agrizzi claims Watson told Bosasa officials at an open meeting that he had instructed Zuma to tell former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat to shut down an investigation into the company.

'SHUT UP AND TOE THE LINE'

Agrizzi further alleges Watson wanted him to take the fall for corruption at the facilities management company.

He says Watson indoctrinated his staff into believing that they could not speak out about corruption at the company.

“You know what I was told by this brilliant legal mind, shut up and just toe the line.”

He says he only agreed to stay after Watson apologised for suggesting he take the fall.

Agrizzi has testified that Watson instructed him to put R40 million in two trust accounts to deal with the fallout from the SIU investigation.

He also alleges Cheeky Watson, the CEO's brother and a former Eastern Cape Rugby boss, offered him shareholding in the company.

“I was told: ‘Gavin Watson will allow you to take the reins. We can get rid of the political corruption taking place and we can become apolitical.’”

Agrizzi says he resigned in August 2016 because he could no longer take what was going on.

He's back for his ninth and final day of testimony on Tuesday.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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