Early calculations by state officials show that African Global Operations (the company once called Bosasa) is still active across the public sector and has existing government contracts worth almost half a billion rands.
This amount has been arrived at after short and initial calculations and may likely be even higher. The amount excludes operations and contracts at state-owned enterprises.
The chairperson of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, Judge Raymond Zondo, has requested information on African Global Operations group’s active contracts with the state.
Testimony and evidence before the inquiry as well as media reports have shown that a former president, two sitting Cabinet ministers, an ANC MP, two senior officials of the National Prosecuting Authority, numerous Correctional Services officials as well as staff of the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) have allegedly received gratuities and favours from the company.
Allegations after three weeks of exposés have revealed that Bosasa (and its successor companies) have allegedly paid off former President Jacob Zuma (and his sidekick Dudu Myeni) and a sitting Cabinet minister, Nomvula Mokonyane.
In addition, allegations have suggested the company has allegedly favoured another Cabinet minister, Mineral Resources minister Gwede Mantashe, with security installations at three of his properties.
ANC MP Vincent Smith allegedly also benefited from security installed at his home and from pay-offs (which he has called loans). Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi also alleged, in his marathon testimony that lasted more than two weeks, that payments had been made to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, who have both denied the allegations.
Despite this, the company continues to operate across the economy, largely in the public sector, as figures obtained by Daily Maverick show.
The contracts do not specify where the operations are, but the documents reflect the company directors as CEO Gavin Watson, Johannes Gumede, Munirah Olivera, Nomazulu Makoko, Papa Leshabane, Jacqueline Leyds and Sarom Trevor Mathenjwa. They are signatories to current contracts. Watson, Leshabane, Gumede and Mathenjwa have come up repeatedly as being engaged in active corrupt practices in evidence before the Zondo commission of inquiry. Watson, Leshabane and Gumede were pictured in a recording made in Watson’s secret vault at the company’s West Rand campus, counting out millions of Rands allegedly to pay bribes.
African Global Operations operates contracts at national key points like prisons, the airports and other state facilities. It has numerous IT contracts running sensitive information spines in public facilities.
Evidence before the inquiry has shown that the company runs internal spying operations using information which means that it is likely to deploy this strategy externally too.
A senior official at the National Prosecuting Authority says there is no reason the NPA has to wait until after the Zondo commission completes its work in two years to start prosecutions. Instead, he says that prosecutors should already be working closely with the investigators of the commission to activate prosecutions. DM