Gavin Watson

Image via Twitter: @UnmovedLee

Gavin Watson: Crash scene photos ‘strengthen’ conspiracy theories

The former Bosasa boss’ family has reportedly requested an independent inquiry into the fatal crash.

Gavin Watson

Image via Twitter: @UnmovedLee

The untimely death of controversial Bosasa boss, Gavin Watson, has raised more questions than answers in relation to his sordid financial affairs.

On Monday morning, a white Toyota Corolla, travelling towards OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, collided with a concrete barrier, instantly killing the driver. Shortly afterwards, police, paramedics and reporters flooded the scene and the identity of the deceased was confirmed.

Gavin Watson: The man behind the Bosasa billions

Gavin Watson, who ruled Bosasa with an iron fist from 1996 to 2018, scored big on government contracts – estimated to be in excess of R12 billion, thanks to a lucrative tender deal with the Department of Correctional Services. This wealth, however, came at an egregious price – both for Watson, his colleagues and South Africa as a whole.

Watson’s former right-hand man and Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi, unearthed a diabolical underworld of bribery, corruption, intimidation and money laundering before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. It’s alleged that Watson managed to score hefty government contracts by greasing the palms of senior politicians.

Agrizzi testified that Watson had personally ‘gifted’ former president Jacob Zuma monthly payments in excess of R300 000. Other key African National Congress (ANC) figures were also implicated in the unmitigated scourge of bribery and malfeasance. Minister Nomvula Mokonyane was allegedly backhanded hundreds of thousands of rands to protect Bosasa from law agencies.

The Ramaphosa connection

And while Agrizzi’s testimony came as no surprise to South Africans who were familiar with Zuma’s regime-alignment with the infamous Gupta family, recent reports involving President Cyril Ramaphosa have shocked the country – and the ANC – to its very core.

Embattled Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, reported that Ramaphosa had accepted R500 000 from Watson as part of a political party campaign donation. While Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing, Mkhwebane has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate questions of money laundering connected to the CR17 campaign.

Watson’s death – at a time when fierce political battles, largely connected to Mkhwebane’s CR17 report, are raging within the ruling party – has birthed a plethora of conspiracy theories. The lead theory, espoused by the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) National Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, is that Watson was murdered by political heavyweights who feared that, if left alive, he would implicate them in a host of corruptive dealings.

Conspiracy theories: Assassination and ‘faked death’

Ndlozi further alleged that Watson was assassinated because of his close proximity to the ongoing judicial matter concerning the Public Protector and president Ramaphosa. Ndlozi theorises that Watson’s testimony would’ve been damning for Ramaphosa, saying:

“I think the fear is that Gavin Watson & Barry Eugene Farber could have been key witnesses in the PP Bosasa matter should it go to court.

But someone took concomitant action on both their lives. Basically to render the PP without any witnesses.”

And while these theories remain baseless in fact, Watson’s own family has reportedly requested and independent inquiry into his death.

Photos of Watson’s fatal crash

In the wake of Watson’s demise, images from the crime scene have proliferated in the realm of social media – giving rise to internet sleuths and even more conspiracy theories.

The official police report states that Watson’s vehicle collided with a concrete barrier on the left hand side of the road, yet images of the scene have been meticulously picked apart to reveal some glaring irregularities.

Damage to Watson’s vehicle, although serious, appears to be worse on the right hand side. According to various reports, a lack of blood and debris at the scene of the crash, has raised further suspicions.

Law enforcement agencies have also being hauled over the coals for their alleged failure to properly secure the scene, by allowing journalists and cleanup crews onto the road before completing their on-site investigation.

These theories are emboldened by Watson’s itinerary.

Watson was due to testify before a tax inquiry on Tuesday. This inquiry was due to investigate allegations that Watson had funnelled and estimated R500 million out of South Africa to short-change SARS.

Before heading to OR Tambo, he allegedly called a prayer meeting at his offices. Furthermore, Watson opted to leave his luxury BMW at his work premises and commandeer a common Toyota.

Agrizzi, who has been saddened by the passing of his one-time friend and colleague, has claimed that Watson may have been trying to flee the country.