The death of controversial Bosasa boss Gavin Watson is a major setback in the quest to uncover the truth around the alleged corrupt relationship between his company and the government.
Watson, who was killed in a horrific car crash near the OR Tambo International Airport yesterday, was accused of bribing government officials to secure state contracts. Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, made billions of rands from the state dating back more than a decade. One of the lucrative contracts Bosasa had was with the department of correctional services where it supplied food for prisoners. Co-author of The Bosasa Billions, a book about Watson and his alleged involvement in state capture, James-Brent Styan said his death was a major setback in the investigation around state capture.
“It is known that Watson didn’t keep notes or records. He didn’t have a computer or an office. The impact of his death on the Bosasa investigations is therefore immense. “He was a central figure to uncovering the truth about all the allegations relating to Bosasa, and now he’s not here anymore to tell his version of events. It’s a major setback for the investigation,” said Styan. The A NC said it was shocked by his death.
‘‘ He was central to uncovering the truth, and now he’s gone
In a statement released yesterday, the ruling party – whose leaders were alleged to have received bribes from Watson – said he was a comrade who helped in the fight against apartheid.
“It was in his home province of the Eastern Cape, where Cde Gavin Watson made the admirable and brave choice of disassociating himself with the privilege that came with being a white male in apartheid South Africa and choosing to participate actively in pursuing the ideals of a free, democratic and non-racial South Africa,” ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said. He said Watson was charitable, an activist and a firm ANC supporter. Watson facilitated donations worth millions to the ANC and most recently the presidential campaign of President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2017. “His charity work in support for youth and communities in distress in the West Rand was admirable and his death has surely robbed those communities of a philanthropist who gave hope and inspired many young people within those communities through skills training and development,” Mabe said.
The DA said Watson’s death has an impact on the work of the state capture commission of inquiry and urged the police to investigate his demise thoroughly.