Andries van Tonder state capture inquiry

(Juniour Khumalo / Twitter)

Andries van Tonder: The secrets he’s likely to share at the state capture inquiry

How do you follow up testimony like Angelo Agrizzi’s? Well, it looks as if Andries van Tonder has a few revelations of his own to share with the state capture inquiry.

Andries van Tonder state capture inquiry

(Juniour Khumalo / Twitter)

After nine days of explosive testimony, Angelo Agrizzi has concluded his appearance at the state capture inquiry. It was characterised by bombshell revelations that implicated the likes of ex-President Jacob Zuma in a wide-ranging bribery operation. Now, former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder takes to the stand, with some secrets of his own.

Indeed, it will be difficult to match the sheer captivating standards set by Agrizzi – his final day of testimony ended on a sour note, after he admitted he was racist as a recording of him saying the “K-word” was played to the Zondo Commission. But van Tonder has seen everything his colleague has seen, and has already begun dishing the dirt.

Who is Andries van Tonder?

The one-time board executive for the security service company gave some brief testimony to the inquiry on Tuesday afternoon. He spoke about his relationship with CEO and ringleader of the corrupt practices, Gavin Watson, corroborating Agrizzi’s claims that he ran Bosasa “like a cult”.

But what else is on the agenda for the rest of this week? Andries van Tonder has submitted a 22-page affidavit to the commission, and you can expect him to get stuck in to the following topics:

Andries van Tonder at the state capture inquiry – what to expect:

Bribe operations

Agrizzi has previously described Bosasa as “an empire of bribes”, implicating van Tonder several times in his own admissions. The CFO has already been revealed to be the man behind the camera, in a now-infamous video which showed company officials stacking millions of rand in their “bribe vaults”.

Gavin Watson

There is much, much more to come on the man who makes the Guptas look like law-abiding monks. There was a genuine trepidation to Andries van Tonder’s brief testimony on Tuesday when he began discussing his former boss. AVT suggested that Watson is connected “to the highest levels of government“, and that won’t be the last we hear on the subject.

He has also told the state capture inquiry that he filmed the activity in the bribe vault because Gavin Watson openly boasted to his fellow executives that there’s “zero evidence” to incriminate him. Van Tonder captured the footage as collateral and certainly saved it for a rainy day.

Falsified tax information

As TimesLive report, van Tonder is said to be responsible for misrepresenting the company’s finances during an investigation by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in 2015. He wanted to secure a favourable ruling from the tax firm, and managed to convince the agency that no dodgy deals had taken place.

Details of how he pulled this off are expected to surface in the coming days, and it could have devastating consequences for SARS officials past and present. The scale of Bosasa’s corruption was monumental, and to get a doctored audit past the department may have required “inside help”.