KZN prisons boss speaks out after Bosasa allegations


Suspended KwaZulu-Natal prisons head Mnikelwa Nxele has spoken out after accusations were at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture last week that he took around R50 000 a month in bribes from facilities management company, Bosasa.

The allegations were made by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi – coincidentally around the same time Nxele was suspended for an unrelated labour dispute.

On Tuesday, Nxele took the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to the Labour Court in Durban to dispute his suspension.

Speaking to the media after the proceedings, he said he was suspended after disciplinary processes involving a manager emerged.

“It involves a manager who had been dismissed in 2014 and reinstated by the bargaining council in 2017 and resumed work in November 2018.”


Nxele said “certain processes” that we had undertaken inside the department that led up to the manager’s suspension were being “looked at” to establish any discrepancies.

“At this stage, that [discrepancies] has not been established. For the sake of the investigation, they feel that I should not be at work. I came to court because facts are on the table on the matter. There is no basis for me to be placed on suspension.”

He said it was unfortunate that his suspension was unfairly linked to Bosasa.

When asked about the Bosasa claims by Agrizzi, he said he was disappointed that the commission did not speak to him.

“I was uncomfortable without me being informed. They never told me I was in his testimony. I wrote to the commission after that. ”

“My understanding is that the commission ought to have alerted me to this so I could be in a position to prepare for my participation and response to the allegation.”

Nxele said he and the commission have been in discussions since. When asked if he took any bribes from Bosasa, he said: “I don’t want to discuss matters of the commission outside the commission. That will be undermining processes.”

Nxele is one of the latest high-ranking officials to be implicated in state capture. Last week he was accused of taking bribes of around R57 500 per month.

He was alleged to have influenced a plot to put undue pressure on former DCS national commissioner Vernie Petersen in 2007. DM


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.