There Is An Agrizzi On The African National Congress' Stoep!
By Musa Mdunge
Angelo Agrizzi's has in the past few months exposed that state capture when beyond the Gutpa family's relationship with former President Jacob Zuma.
His most explosive claim to date has been the alleged millions of rands paid to the ANC's top 6 leaders by Bosasa.
The claims present a PR nightmare for the ANC's re-election bid, as South Africans are set to go the polls on 8 May.
On 28 March, Angelo Agrizzi told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he knew of millions of rands given to the ruling party's top six leaders. Agrizzi said he knew of cheques delivered to the ANC top six, though he did not specify whether the cheques were made out to the party or individual members of the top six at the time, which included then ANC President Jacob Zuma, then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy Jesse Duarte, then chairwoman Baleka Mbete, and Zweli Mkhize.
While his testimony and those of other public and private sector people who were either involved or impacted by the capture of the state by politically connected business people such as the Gupta family, Agrizzi’s latest testimony has placed a dent in the ANC’S bid to present itself as a party that is in renewal.
His explosive testimony placed the fingerprints of state capture at the very door of Luthuli House, as he implicated its most senior leaders. Moreover, Agrizzi exposed alleged bribes in the form of payments towards ANC parties/celebrations by Bosasa. The gravity of his testimony has elicited the ANC to apply to cross-examine him. One can read this a sign of ANC’s nervousness but also highlights the election PR crisis his testimony has caused.
ANC’s strategy has hinged on one man, President Cyril Ramaphosa. The party has sought to present Ramaphosa as the Messiah, who can save not only it but the country at large from economic and political peril it finds itself.
However, by placing state capture at the door of the president through payments made to his son and to his own ANC campaign, the president's credibility as "Mr Clean" has been tarnished. As a result, one can understand why the ANC has taken the decision to apply Agrizzi's cross-examination.
It was one thing to implicated people like Nomvula Mokonyane, Ace Magashule, and former President Jacob Zuma. These characters’ scandals are well recorded, and their exposure worked well for Ramaphosa, who sought to expose his enemies, However, it looks like this had backfired on him, as his ducks and dives, avoiding a presidential debate with the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Mmusi Maimane.
If the DA needed had a good election gift, Agrizzi and the unfolding story of state capture, have offered it a clear bull’s eye target. The next month will be interesting as we move ever so close to 8 May. One thing that is for sure is that Agrizzi is on the ANC’s stoep and time will if they get rid of his testimony in the minds and hearts of voters!