Jiba's bid to cross-examine Angelo Agrizzi delayed...for now

Judge Zondo concerned that businessman said in affidavit he had no personal knowledge of payments made

Nomgcobo Jiba's bid to cross-examine Angelo Agrizzi delayed... for now

13 August 2019

Former Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has applied to cross-examine Angelo Agrizzi at the commission of inquiry into state capture.

The application concerns allegations that Jiba accepted bribes for information on the investigation into Bosasa and to shut down the probe.

In January, former Bosasa operations chief Agrizzi told the commission that Jiba had received R100 000 from executives at the services company which now trades as African Global Operations (AGO).

Agrizzi testified that Jiba was given the money by former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti, after he had received it from AGO bosses. He further told the commission that Jiba and her personal assistant Jackie Lepinka had leaked confidential National Prosecuting Authority documents to Mti and AGO chief executive Gavin Watson.

Jiba and Lepinka have denied all the claims.

On Tuesday morning, commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he was concerned that Agrizzi had said in his affidavit that he had no personal knowledge of payments made to Jiba.

Her side of the story

He added that he did not see how, in this regard, Jiba's cross-examination could assist the commission.

However, he said this may not apply to Jiba's second part of her application which deals with her intention to deal with her side of the story.

After deliberations between Jiba's legal team and Zondo, it was suggested that the application be placed on hold pending the testimony of other witnesses on the matter, as Agrizzi's allegations were just hearsay.

However, the allegations will no longer be hearsay once Linda Mti is called to testify, said Zondo.

Despite attorney Zola Majavu's apprehension that a delay could mean bad news for his client Jiba, he agreed to wait.

Majavu added that Agrizzi's allegations had done harm to Jiba's integrity and that she had a right to set the record straight.

Advocate Julie Harwood, acting on behalf of Agrizzi, said they did not oppose the delay and reiterated that Jiba's intention to cross-examine hearsay could waste the commission's time.