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Basson says Bosasa used PR officers to harass, intimidate him

Veteran journalist Adriaan Basson says Bosasa once hired former public relations officer Benedicta Dube to warn him against continuing with his exposes on Bosasa.

A screengrab of News24 Editor Adriaan Basson giving evidence at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 5 February 2019.

PRETORIA – Veteran journalist Adriaan Basson has told the state capture inquiry that Bosasa had intelligence on him and used public relations officers to harass and intimidate him.

Basson, who has previously investigated and exposed the company's alleged corrupt relationship with the government, testified at the Zondo Commission in Parktown on Tuesday.

He explained how the company once hired former public relations officer Benedicta Dube to warn him against continuing with his exposes on Bosasa.

“Some of the other personal information that I can remember she disclosed to me was my place of birth, for example, consciously saying ‘are you sure you were born here in this town?’

“She also studied records of mine; my tertiary studies, where I studied, what I studied and it was clear to me that this information was obtained through some kind of intelligence operation. She warned me with words like ‘I’ll kill you if you tell anyone about the conversation.”

Basson has also confirmed that he visited former COO Angelo Agrizzi's house once to get information on the company after he learnt that Agrizzi was leaving Bosasa.

WATCH: 'I'll kill you if you tell anyone' - Basson on Bosasa threats

He says when he began exposing Bosasa, he started receiving calls from people threatening him.

“There were two purposes of threats, which we’re going to detail, but the only purpose I could deduce at the time, I still believe, is to stop me from writing about Bosasa.”

The commission has previously heard evidence of how Bosasa paid over R500,000 in bribes every month to officials at the Department of Correctional Services in exchange for tenders.

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