Top South African Prosecutors Implicated in Graft Investigation

(Bloomberg) -- Services company Bosasa paid bribes to two of South Africa’s most senior prosecutors to help it evade graft charges and secure confidential information, according to its former chief operating officer.

Nomgcobo Jiba, the deputy national director of public prosecutions, received a monthly payoff of 100,000 rand ($7,235), while Lawrence Mrwebi, the special director of public prosecutions, was paid 10,000 rand, Angelo Agrizzi told a judicial commission that’s probing graft during former President Jacob Zuma’s rule. In return, the officials, who were given the code names “Snake” and “Snail,” supplied Bosasa with files, emails and documents pertaining to its case, he said at a hearing in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Investigators have spent years examining allegations that Bosasa, which was renamed African Global Operations in 2017, used illicit methods to secure state contracts, but the case hasn’t come to court. Agrizzi, who worked for the company from 1999 to 2016, has previously testified that bribes were also paid to senior politicians and government officials.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma about year ago and has pledged to clamp down on graft, suspended Jiba and Mrwebi in October. A separate panel led by former Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro is investigating their fitness to hold office. Jiba and Mrwebi have both denied wrongdoing.

Papa Leshabane, a spokesman for African Global Operations, didn’t answer phone calls to his office seeking comment.

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