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Agrizzi should be condemned, not commended

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Howard Feldman’s column – “Trying to understand Angelo Agrizzi” – in the 1 March edition of the SA Jewish Report refers.
by Shirley Cohen, Johannesburg | Mar 07, 2019

Questions come to mind that were not addressed by interviewer Chad Thomas on ChaiFM, nor by Howard Feldman in his overly forgiving article which followed the interview last week:

First, why did Agrizzi decide to grant his one and only interview to a Jewish radio station?

It seems strange that a top executive of an enterprise exposed for corrupting government institutions and public servants on a grand scale should be so interested in talking to the Jewish community. His interview was notable for making biblical and other references that alluded to Jews – why is he cosying up to the Jewish community?

Second – and this also seems to have escaped Feldman and Thomas – by becoming a whistle blower, isn’t Agrizzi just trying to avoid going to jail, or trying to get a lighter sentence down the line? In other words, he is trying to save his ###!

For this reason – and because he is a self-confessed reprobate – I completely disagree with Feldman that Agrizzi deserves to be “commended for what he has chosen to do”.

This is a very morally compromised individual – why should we commend him? That he chose to come forward to the Zondo Commission, for whatever reasons personal or otherwise, is not grounds for commendation. It is simply a fact.

The corruption that has occurred in South Africa is a desperately sad state of affairs that has brought our economy to its knees. People like Agrizzi are core to its enablement. South Africans have an unfortunate tendency to hero worship anyone in the public eye, even people like Agrizzi the so-called “loveable mobster”.

Feldman’s appraisal smacks of this kind of unthinking celebrity worship. Maybe he should try harder to understand this kind of person.

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