South Africa

Health woes keep Agrizzi out of court again, arrest warrant issued

CAPE TOWN – The National Prosecuting Authority said an arrest warrant has been issued for former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, but it would not be executed pending his next court appearance.

This came after he failed to appear in court in Pretoria along with three other corruption accused, with his representatives citing his health problems.

“A warrant of arrest was issued against Agrizzi; however, it will not be enforced until the next court appearance.”

Agrizzi’s lawyer, Daniel Witz, said his client remained in intensive care in hospital, though his condition had improved somewhat.

"He is definitely getting better, but doctors won't discharge him yet, due to his lungs and kidneys."

Agrizzi suffered a heart attack in late October, shortly after prison authorities agreed for him to be transferred to a private clinic. He was placed on life support at the time.

The NPA had expected Agrizzi to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, where the R1.8-billion corruption case involving a contract between Bosasa and the Department of Correctional Services is being heard.

Agrizzi's co-accused are former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti, former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham and former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder.

The four all face charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, corruption and money laundering in relation to four tenders Bosasa and its subsidiaries secured involving contracts valued at more than R1.8 billion between August 2004 up to 2007.

The case was postponed last month after Agrizzi was admitted to hospital with severe health problems, shortly after he was denied bail in another corruption case involving allegedly bribing former senior Member of Parliament and fellow accused Vincent Smith.

On Thursday, it was postponed to February 18, 2021, to give the defence teams time to study the docket.

Agrizzi finally secured bail on appeal on October 30.

The Investigative Directorate of the NPA had argued that he was a patent flight risk because he had failed to disclose his financial interests and the fact that he retained an Italian passport.

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