The Congress of the People (COPE) National Spokesperson Dennis Bloem has made an emotional plea to Justice Raymond Zondo to investigate the death of former National Commissioner for Correctional Services, Vernie Pietersen.

He gave evidence on Friday at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Bloem detailed how much deep corruption is at the Department of Correctional Services, dating back to 2004 when he was still chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for the department.

Bloem has described as “havoc” the situation at the Department of Correctional Services around 2004. This is when he was the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee in Parliament.

Bloem named former Minister of Correctional Services Ngconde Balfour and former Department of Correctional Services National Commissioner Vernie Petersen as the leaders during the “havoc”.

He says all he wanted to see was Bosasa involved corruption cleaned out of the system.

“This thing of Bosasa was hampering the functions of the Department of Correctional Services. There was no control; there was no responsibility in the department. To mention, Chair, I had a good working relationship with Popcru and they themselves were unhappy.”

Bloem says he was threatened several times during his tenure as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services. This is because he was vocal about the wrong doing and awarding of tenders to Bosasa.

“We are following you and we are going to finish you. I said to this caller ‘Please, come I’m waiting for you’ and this person dropped the phone. When he dropped the phone, my wife was asking me why I was shouting on the phone … I had to tell her.”

Chairperson of the Commission Justice Raymond Zondo says the evidence brought by Bloem needs urgent attention from the relevant authorities as it is very concerning.

“If Mr Bloem’s evidence is true, as collaborated, it may be that urgent steps need to be taken by the relevant authorities … it may or may not be. The commission might have to consider if it has any role to have this dealt with urgently.”

Bloem has assured the commission that most of the evidence by former Bosasa Chief Operations Officer Angelo Agrizzi is true. He says that is part of the reason why he felt the need to come and expose more of the dealings that are still happening between government and Bosasa.