Vincent Smith, a former ANC member of parliament who received hundreds of thousands of rands from Angelo Agrizzi, former chief operating officer of Bosasa, was arrested on charges of fraud and appeared in court on Thursday.
He appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg after handing himself over to police that morning.
He is accused of receiving bribes from Agrizzi. However, Smith maintained in his testimony before the Zondo Commission that the payments were loans for, among other things, his daughter’s studies, and not bribes.
The charges against him of fraud stems from the willful non-disclosure of benefits in parliament’s register of members’ interests, as required by law. According to law, an amount above R1 500 must be declared.
Smith, who was elected MP in 1999 and chaired the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) from 2009 to 2014, testified before the Zondo Commission in early September about his long-standing friendship with Agrizzi.
According to Smith, he borrowed the money from Agrizzi in a personal capacity for his daughter’s studies.
“The agreement for the loan was between Angelo Agrizzi and me. Angelo came to me to help with his unemployed son. I could help. When my son developed behavioral problems, he referred me to a service provider. We had a cordial relationship, “Smith testified.
The state did not oppose bail.