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How Wanted Former Prison Boss Linda Mti Was Granted R20,000 Bail


South Africa’s former prisons boss, Linda Mti, was granted bail of R20,000 in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday afternoon.

Mti, who arrived from the Eastern Cape, handed himself over to police at the Pretoria police station.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said earlier that an agreement had been reached between Mti’s lawyers and the Hawks for him to hand himself over.

He was listed as a suspect by the Hawks along with former Bosasa chief operations officer and state capture whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi, former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham and former Bosasa executive Andries van Tonder.

Agrizzi, Van Tonder and Gillingham appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Gillingham is facing one count of contravening the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act. The charge sheet lists 31 gratifications allegedly received by Gillingham.

Gillingham also faces five counts of money laundering.

They were also released on R20,000 bail each.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the seventh suspect was in the US.

“We have good relations with the US authorities, so we believe it will be smooth sailing,” Mulaudzi said.

According to the draft charge sheet at court on Wednesday, Mti allegedly enjoyed free flights, accommodation and even had a traffic fine paid in exchange for his role in tenders awarded to Bosasa.

Mti allegedly scored benefits worth nearly R1m.

The charge sheet said that between May 2004 and July 2015, Mti received gratifications including car rentals, local flight tickets and accommodation at local hotels to the value of R975,637.22.

It says Mti, who was a public officer employed by the correctional services department, directly or indirectly accepted or agreed to accept unauthorised gratifications from former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi and former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder. He also scored from Bosasa and two other companies, Sondolo IT and Phezulu Fencing.

The three companies are named in the court papers.

One of the gratifications included a traffic fine of R322 paid for Mti in Port Elizabeth in July 2015.

The draft charge sheet said Mti also received about 24 cash payments between March 2004 and December 2007. The lowest amount was for R2,500 and the largest for R9,000.

It also alleged that Mti failed to ensure compliance with the procurement processes of the correctional services department in relation to a number of tenders, which resulted in the Bosasa group of companies being awarded those tenders.

The accused are expected to appear in court on March 27.

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