Scandal-ridden prison services firm Bosasa gets new name

Johannesburg - Bosasa Operations, a scandal-ridden multi-services company that allegedly paid bribes to senior prison officials, has changed its name to African Global Operations.                

The name change was communicated to staff in an email on Monday.

The Bosasa group has been under investigation for bribing senior correctional services employees to procure government tenders.

Bosasa spokesperson Papa Leshabane confirmed that the name change is effective immediately. He denied that the rebranding took place due to Bosasa’s checkered past.  

Bosasa, led by politically connected businessman Gavin Watson, has been embroiled in numerous scandals over the years, the most damaging of which was documented in a report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which found the group bribed its way into doing work for the Department of Correctional Services.

The SIU then handed its report, which included evidence of fraud and corruption, to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2009.

Since then the Hawks and the NPA have struggled to bring the matter to court and it remains unresolved. Earlier this year Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said the directorate has concluded its investigation and that the file is with the NPA for a decision.

It emerged in February that the firm won a R500m tender from the Department of Correctional Services, despite the sword hanging over its head.

Bosasa also operates the Lindela Repatriation Centre for South Africa's undocumented migrants, where it is responsible for security and catering as well as health and safety.

Leshabane said there is nothing new or strange about Bosasa changing its name.

“Globally organisations, people, outfits, rebrand themselves,” he said. He added that some of the firm's
operations will still be known under the flag of Bosasa.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: