KwaZulu-Natal’s Head of Correctional Services, Mnikelwa Nxele has refuted allegations that his suspension is related to the testimony of former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

The Department of Correctional Services announced on Wednesday that he was suspended as a precautionary measure while a process relating to an employment issue is completed.

Nxele says he should have been given a chance to know about Agrizzi’s claims before seeing it on TV.

Agrizzi claims that Nxele was paid by Bosasa to “place undue pressure” on former Department of Correctional Services National Commissioner Vernie Petersen in 2007. He allegedly accepted bribes of R57 500 from the company.

Nxele says is it disappointing that the Commission didn’t afford him an opportunity to defend himself.

“I’ve been placed on suspension based on another matter that we are dealing with in the Department of Correctional Services. It has nothing to do with the allegation by Mr Agrizzi. In fact, yesterday on my way from Pretoria, I learnt that Mr Agrizzi had mentioned me. So, I took the initiative of calling the manager of the Commission to indicate that we are shocked to learn this way because we learnt through the television. When there’s a commission of this nature you get informed in advance and you decide whether you want to attend the proceedings; you want to cross examine the witness; or you want to put your version. All of that has not happened.”

Nxele says he has written to the Commission and requested the full statement and affidavit of Agrizzi.

Nxele says he wants to clear his name.

“I’ve written to them to ask that we be provided with the statement of Mr Agrizzi so that we can refute this nonsense and rubbish that he’s talking about, so that I can respond appropriately … I hear that he said that I went to receive that bribe wearing a uniform. Nobody’s going to go to hotels where there are cameras wearing a Correctional Services uniform to receive bribes.”