Angelo Agrizzi slaps justice minister with R193 million summons

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi on the stand at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Newspapers

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi on the stand at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 7, 2023


Former Bosasa whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi has issued summons against the minister of justice and correctional services in the amount of R193-million, as he claimed that his ailing health is due to correctional officials, who did not pay attention to his health issues and did not ensure that he received adequate or any treatment while held in custody.

The court has over the past months heard evidence from medical experts called by the Agrizzi camp that he is simply too ill to physically attend the trials at court.

He has been absent from court appearances in those trials – which are still due to fully resume – since he landed in hospital in 2020.

His lawyer earlier told the court that Agrizzi spent about 50 days in ICU or in the high care unit of a hospital in 2020, and has since not been able to physically attend his trials in court.

Following the evidence of medical experts, the court recently ordered that his corruption trial be held separately from that of his three co-accused to avoid delays.

In the summons issued against the minister, Agrizzi’s lawyer, Mannie Witz stated that his client was held at the Johannesburg Central Prison from October 14 2020 to October 19 2020, after he was denied bail.

It is said that prior to his appearance in court following his arrest, he handed medical certificates to the senior state advocates from his doctor, setting out his medical conditions, including diabetes.

When he applied for bail on October 14, 2020, he took his oxygen generator with as he needed it to breathe.

He was provided with additional oxygen by a medic who took him to prison following his failed bail application, but it is said that this was taken away from him at prison and he could only rely on his own oxygen generator.

While in prison he was only examined by a nurse who did not understand what the normal blood oxygen levels should be, Witz stated.

It is said that after noting his medical problems, including that he had lung problems, he was taken to his cell and received no further medical attention or medicine.

The following morning, it is said, he was found unconscious on his cell floor. Officials took him to hospital, where he was resuscitated.

It is said that Agrizzi had suffered an acute medical emergency and he was kept at the Chris Baragwanath Hospital for about five days. He was then transferred to a private hospital, where he stayed for about 50 days in ICU.

He was thereafter released on December 7 2020 as bail was granted to him.

Agrizzi said as a result of his medical emergency, for which he suffered while in custody under the control of correctional services, his health has drastically deteriorated.

He said the officials knew of his dire medical condition when he was kept in custody, yet they failed to render him the necessary medical attention, including the much needed supplementary oxygen.

Agrizzi said despite some of his prior medical conditions, he was highly functional before his stint in jail. This included that he was the COO of a multibillion rand group of companies.

Now, he said he has so many neurological and other medical problems that he can hardly walk. He attributes this to the “negligence” on the part of correctional services.

He estimates his future medical costs at millions.

Agrizzi’s claims meanwhile include an estimated R74-million for loss of feature earnings and R5-million for the pain and suffering he has to endure.

The minister must meanwhile still file his defence to the claim. He has 20 days in which to note his intention to oppose the claim.

Pretoria News

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