Journalist tells commission about BOSASA threats and meeting Agrizzi

Journalist tells commission about BOSASA threats and meeting Agrizzi

- Adriaan Basson, editor-in-chief for News24, appeared before the state capture inquiry today.

- The journalist revealed that he had received threats after publishing articles detailing allegations of corruption at BOSASA and the department of correctional services

- Basson claims that one of these calls came from Benedicta Dube, who has been implicated in receiving bribes from the company

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Appearing before the Zondo Commission today Adriaan Basson laid bare his encounters with BOSASA.

The News-24 editor-in-chief explained that he had received countless threatening phone calls after publishing articles on the alleged corruption at BOSASA and the Department of Correctional Services.

During his testimony, Basson confirmed that he had met with ex-COO Angelo Agrizzi, after hearing that he had turned on BOSASA, in an effort to obtain information.

Basson felt that the threats and intimidation, which he detailed in his testimony, had been an attempt to prevent him from publishing articles about the company.

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In 2009 Basson had written an article, published by the M&G, revealing that BOSASA had been involved in writing specifications for tenders they would later secure from the department.

The journalist had explained that he had relied on leaked emails from a source within the company, which forensic investigators have confirmed as authentic.

The publication of the 'smoking gun' article had prompted threats, which Basson felt was due to the article having 'caused discomfort and anger at the BOSASA group'.

According to The Citizen, Basson's source at BOSASA had told him that his information had been circulated among employees, who would call him saying that his work had prompted job losses, in the hopes to stop him.

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The journalist explained how he had received threatening phone calls, saying that a Google search had revealed one of the numbers allegedly belonged to Benedicta Dube.

Briefly.co.za reported previously that Dube had been implicated by Angelo Agrizzi as one of the journalists receiving bribes from BOSASA in exchange for intel and favorable articles.

During the alleged phone call with Dube, who had claimed that she was his colleague in the media, warning Basson about his investigation and 'then proceeded to attempt to convince me she's helping'.

READ ALSO: Bosasa paid for home upgrades for Mokonyane, Myeni, Mantashe and more

Basson further claims that Dube, during the 19 minute call, would constantly request him to confirm his private information and read an accurate list of his friends and family members, along with their occupations:

“It was clear to me that she was reading some kind of intelligence document and that the real purpose of the call was not to help me but to scare me,”

Basson claimed that his source in BOSASA had confirmed that Dude had been on their payroll and had been consulted about him.

The journalist told the inquiry that Dube had at a point said: 'I will kill if you tell anyone of our conversation', maintaining that she had been 'ominous' and not joking.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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