“The truth is eventually going to come out about how it (the recording) was disseminated and why it was disseminated.”
These were the words of former Bosasa chief operating officer (COO) Angelo Agrizzi after proceedings in the Equality Court, sitting in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media, Agrizzi had little to say. All he asked was for the “law to take its course. Simple as that.”
Agrizzi said he regretted making the utterances contained in a leaked recording of a meeting that took place at his Fourways home during which he referred to black directors of Bosasa as k****s on numerous occasions.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) took the matter to court after the clip was played at the state capture commission of inquiry.
“I have apologised and we will now do that in court, thank you,” he said in response to journalists’ questions about whether he would like to apologise to South Africans.
Agrizzi’s legal team and the SAHRC have asked the court for time to negotiate a possible settlement out of court.
“We hope that we will be able to find each other and reach an amicable settlement which will show that Mr Agrizzi is committed, or has shown some form of contrition, for the utterances attributed to him,” SAHRC Gauteng manager Buang Jones said after the proceedings.
He said the commission also asked Agrizzi to pay R200 000 in damages and it was hopeful that they would be able to come up with a proposal which would please both parties.
Jones said the organisation has also asked the court to direct that Agrizzi undergo a sensitivity programme and issue an unconditional apology to South Africans.
“We hope that as we commence with our discussions, these are the key things that we will be discussing,” Jones said.
He added that at this stage, they were not certain whether the parties would settle the matter out of court but they were positive because of Agrizzi’s and his legal team’s eagerness to engage in discussions with the SAHRC.
If the parties did not reach a settlement, Jones said, the commission had two witnesses who were executives at Bosasa and who were willing to take the stand.
“For now, I can just say they are two black executives at Bosasa,” he said.
Agrizzi’s instructing attorney Daniel Witz said they were considering the settlement of the R200 000 claim. However, he added that they would also look at the aspect of donating to charity rather than paying the SAHRC.
“When this matter was raised at the Zondo commission, Mr Agrizzi did show remorse and apologised profusely to the citizens of South Africa. In terms of this matter here today, any apology will be discussed during settlement, alternatively in court,” Witz said.
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