Controversial Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, has reportedly died as a result of a car accident near OR Tambo international airport in Johannesburg.
According to reports from the scene of the accident, Watson’s vehicle was completely destroyed on impact. At this stage, the total number of fatalities – beyond Watson are unknown.
The 73-year-old was thrust into the spotlight last year, when the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture uncovered evidence of corruption, bribery and money-laundering related to Bosasa – now known as African Global Operation.
Former Chief Operating Officer (COO), Angelo Agrizzi, shocked South Africa during his time before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, testifying that former president Jacob Zuma – along with a host of other African National Congress (ANC) politicians – had received exorbitant bribes from Watson in order to secure lucrative tender contracts.
Agrizzi’s testimony before the commission is widely regarded as the most damning indictment of the ANC’s involvement in the State Capture project. As a result of his controversial testimony, Agrizzi became the subject of numerous death threats.
In addition to his alleged connection to Zuma, the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, proved that current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, had accepted a R500 000 donation from Watson to assist with his CR17 electoral campaign. The success of the party campaign saw Ramaphosa defeat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the ANC’s electoral conference.
In the wake of Ramaphosa’s success, however, a string of concerns regarding the campaign’s funding and donation programmes have come under fire. Mkhwebane, in her CR17 report, stated that the R500 000 donation from Watson was just the tip of the iceberg. She subsequently requested that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) investigate Ramaphosa’s campaign for money laundering.
The man Gavin Watson
One of four brothers, Gavin Watson was born on a farm near Somerset East in the Eastern Cape. Watson became the CEO of Bosasa in 1996 after partnering with Dyambu Trust a subsidiary of the ANC Women’s League.
The company focused on lucrative government contracts for services rendered to prisons across South Africa. In 2004, the Department of Correctional Services awarded Bosasa a multimillion rand contract to provide catering services to the prison system.
It’s estimated that Bosasa made R12 billion in 15 years, thanks to its cosy and controversial relationship with the ruling party.