Agrizzi turned down R50 million offer to ‘buy his silence’ – report

Former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi has alleged that his former boss Gavin Watson offered R50 million to “buy his silence” after he threatened to go public with details of alleged corruption.

City Press said it has obtained copies of emails and text messages that detail the dealings Agrizzi had with Watson. The former has been giving his testimony before the Zondo commission over the past week, detailing how the company allegedly bribed senior officials to secure lucrative contracts.

According to City Press, the Watsons allegedly tried to convince Agrizzi to change his mind at a meeting on August 25, 2018.

In an email sent on August 21, 2018, Agrizzi threatened to tell all about the “corruption” at the Bosasa group of companies.

“I have tried to not report on the activities to potentially save the jobs of the people concerned. It is, however, in my best interest to disclose the matters,” he said, adding that the “most appropriate platform” would be making his disclosures to “the judiciary and the free press, which I will be using”.

Watson sent Agrizzi numerous texts including one which questioned the livelihood of company employees. “What’s it going to solve destroying your family and my family and 5,000 other families?” Watson said.

City Press reported that Agrizzi received a draft settlement which he claimed was an attempt to buy his silence. He would chair a new company and be “responsible for the entrepreneurial development and management of the business”.

Watson would reportedly pay R10 million into the new company each year for five years, under the condition that Agrizzi withdraw his earlier statement, City Press reported.

Agrizzi wrote an email, declining the offer, the paper said.

Read: The damning bribery and corruption claims against government and ANC officials

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Agrizzi turned down R50 million offer to ‘buy his silence’ – report