Bosasa is a South African company specialising in providing services to government, most notably prison services. It is controversial for its involvement in corruption allegations exposed during the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.[2][3] It consists of Bosasa Group, Bosasa Youth Development Centres, and African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa Operations).

IndustryGovernment contracting
HeadquartersKrugersdorp, Johannesburg, South Africa
Area served
South Africa
Key people
Productsbusiness services, catering

The company started providing services to prisons in 1995 when it established the BOSASA Youth Development Centres with the Gauteng Department of Social Development when government privatised juvenile detention facilities.[4] It received its first large contract from government in 2004 when the Department of Correctional Services awarded it a contract to provide catering services to the prison system.[5] The company is estimated to have received government tenders to the value of R12 billion (US$918.8 million) between 2003 and 2018.[6]

On the 18 February 2019 the company announced that it would be going into voluntary liquidation after their banks announced that they would be closing all BOSASA related accounts[7] as the banks sought to distance themselves from the company following allegations of corruption.[8]


The company was founded in 1981 as Emafini (Pty) Ltd. After a change of management the company changed its name to Meritum Hostels (Pty) Ltd in 1985 changing its name again to Dyambu Operations (Pty) Ltd in 1996 after signing an agreement with the ANC Women's League controlled Dyambu Trust. Gavin Watson was then made company CEO. The company was re-named Bosasa in 2000.[5]

In 2017 the company changed the name of its Bosasa Operations division to African Global Operations.[9]


The company's former chief operating officer, Angelo Agrizzi, testified to the Zondo Commission that the company was extensively involved in corrupt activities during the presidency of Jacob Zuma that directly implicated then President Zuma and his associates. These involved monthly payments of R300,000 collected on behalf of Zuma by former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni.[3] It is also involved donations and kickbacks to the African National Congress (ANC) and key party members including a R500,000 donation to Cyril Ramaphosa during his 2017 campaign for president of the ANC.[2][10] Agrizzi also claimed that government minister Nomvula Mokonyane was paid R50,000 a month for years to protect the company from law enforcement agencies[11] and that the company paid R300,000 for security upgrades to properties owned by Gwede Mantashe.[12]

ANC Eastern Cape treasurer Babalo Madikizela has stated that the Bosasa scandal will make it more difficult for the ANC to raise funds in the future.[13] News24 reported that its estimated that over R40 million was donated by Bosasa over the years to the ANC representing a significant source of revenue for the party.[14]

The scandal led to comparisons of Bosasa and its executives to the controversial Gupta family.[15][16]


  1. ^ "ALL THE PLAYERS IN THE BOSASA GROUP". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  2. ^ a b Smit, Sarah. "Bosasa, the scandal the ANC can't spin". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  3. ^ a b Agency, African News (28 January 2019). "Dudu Myeni 'was powerful', State capture inquiry hears". Engineering News. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  4. ^ "BOSASAYDC: Our History". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  5. ^ a b "Bosasa just keeps on scoring". News24. 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  6. ^ Sarah Smit, Thanduxolo Jika, Sabelo Skiti (2019-02-01). "The Bosasa tally: R12-billion". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-02-01.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "BREAKING: Bosasa confirms its liquidation after banks pull out". News24. 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  8. ^ "Bosasa to close after banks pull out". Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  9. ^ "Scandal-ridden prison services firm Bosasa gets new name". Fin24. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  10. ^ "Ramaphosa: Bosasa payment was for ANC presidency campaign". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  11. ^ "Mokonyane feels 'betrayed' by Zondo commission for not giving her access to contents of Agrizzi's testimony". News24. 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  12. ^ "Mantashe wants to testify after Bosasa security upgrade claims, offers to take journos to his homes". News24. 2019-02-02. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  13. ^ "'#Bosasa scandal will harm ANC financially'". 9 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  14. ^ Cowan, Kyle (2019-02-19). "ANC accepted Bosasa millions for years". News24. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  15. ^ "State capture inquiry: Like the Guptas, Bosasa's boss 'told Zuma what to do'". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  16. ^ Cilliers, Charles. "EFG law firm to sue Maimane and DA for defamation over 'Bosasa-Gupta' allegations". The Citizen. Retrieved 2019-02-01.