Angelo Agrizzi’s friends and family are hoping to have him home for Christmas.
The fraud and corruption accused former Bosasa chief operations officer has been in the hospital for seven weeks now but his lawyer, advocate Mannie Witz, said on Thursday he was on the road to recovery.
Witz said he had been visiting with Agrizzi and that while he was still in intensive care, he was awake and responsive.
“At the moment, he’s still reliant on medical care. He’s got various machines that he’s attached to that are dealing with certain medical problems, and he’s on a lot of medication so he gets tired quickly,” Witz said.
“He’s still got a way to go but he is a lot better. His health is slowly improving and they’re hoping to be able to discharge him in the next few weeks”.
Witz was speaking on the sidelines of the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, where Agrizzi had been due in the dock on Thursday morning, alongside former ANC MP Vincent Smith, to answer to the fraud and corruption charges levelled against the two over allegations that Smith received massive kickbacks from Bosasa in exchange for his political influence and protection.
Agrizzi was not in court due to his current condition, leading to the case being postponed to next year, with a warrant for Agrizzi’s arrest authorized but stayed over until then.
This is the second warrant for Agrizzi’s arrest to have been authorized in the past six weeks.
Last month, the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria – where Agrizzi is facing separate charges related to billions of Rands worth of dodgy prison tenders Bosasa scooped in the early 2000s – took the same approach, after he was a no-show at a scheduled appearance because of his hospitalization. That court too has not yet made the warrant it issued for his arrest, executable.
In the matter in Palm Ridge, Agrizzi was initially denied bail – with magistrate Philip Venter finding he was a flight risk and highlighting the “headache” trying to extradite the Gupta brothers had given the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
This after the state accused Agrizzi of having failed to disclose millions of Rands worth of offshore assets back in February, when he deposed to an affidavit in the matter in Pretoria.
But Agrizzi took the decision on appeal and the South Gauteng High Court has now overruled it, granting him bail in the form of the title deed to a luxury Italian property, said to be valued at around R16 million.
In court on Thursday, state advocate Peter Serunye confirmed Agrizzi had since handed over the required guarantees.