taxpayers sars scam

SARS offices in Sandton, Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images / Charles Gallo

Gavin Watson hauled in by SARS: Why this could be curtains for the Bosasa CEO

The chief kingmaker in a sophisticated bribery operation has been dragged in front of a SARS probe. Bosasa’s Gavin Watson is in a tight spot, here.

taxpayers sars scam

SARS offices in Sandton, Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images / Charles Gallo

Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson – one of the most-mentioned, yet most-evasive figures at the state capture inquiry – seems to have run out of road when it comes to keeping a low profile. The bribery kingpin, allegedly responsible for handing out millions in illicit payments, has been probed by a team of legal experts at SARS.

What are SARS doing with Gavin Watson?

As Business Day report, Watson faced a grilling on Wednesday. He was supposedly under the microscope for lying about Bosasa’s tax figures, and the data they had submitted to SARS over the past 15 years.

However, the tax authority could neither confirm nor deny the details of their showdown with Watson: Unfortunately for us, their silence is bound by Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act dealing with confidentiality of information.

Should he be found guilty, SARS would have the authority to institute civil proceedings against Gavin Watson. They would be able to reclaim assets from the company as a means of recovering the money that’s owed to them. In a case with such severe implications, it’s likely the CEO could also face a criminal trial.

Bosasa bribery

Bosasa’s on-again-off-again liquidation has been a source of confusion for many. Earlier in the year – and after a slew of devastating revelations from former executive Angelo Agrizzi – the company filed for insolvency, only to produce a dramatic u-turn just a few weeks later.

Watson himself has been accused of facilitating bribes between Bosasa and several MPs. The security services company are also believed to have carried out renovations at politicians’ houses as means of thanking them for their co-operation – a list that includes Gwede Mantashe.

It was even revealed by Agrizzi that Jacob Zuma was in on the backhanders, receiving R300 000 after officials visited Nkandla. We had no idea that bribery now did delivery, but hey, this is the level Bosasa were operating at.