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Agrizzi ‘saddened’ by Watson’s death

Bosasa boss Gavin Watson died in a car crash in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

Angelo Agrizzi appears in the Randburg Magistrate Court on 27 June 2019 . Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has told Eyewitness News he is saddened by Gavin Watson's death.

The Bosasa boss died in a car crash in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale said: “A 73-year-old man was involved in a car accident this morning near the OR Tambo International Airport. He allegedly lost control of his vehicle and collided with a pillar that’s holding up a concrete bridge.”

Watson's company, now called African Global Operations, is alleged to have pumped millions of rand into the African National Congress (ANC) campaigns and has been accused of massive corruption at the state capture commission of inquiry.

Agrizzi said while he may have had differences with Watson, his death has saddened him.

He said: “Well, I can only send my condolences to the family. I mean he’s got kids, he’s got a wife and grandchildren. So, my condolences to the family.”

Watson's family have asked for space to mourn his death.

BUT WHO WAS GAVIN WATSON?

Watson was born on a farm in the Eastern Cape in 1946.

He and his three brothers, who include well-known rugby boss Cheeky Watson, were raised by a preacher father.

After 1994, the Watson brothers immersed themselves in business and the now late brother started Bosasa.

The group won government tenders to provide food and security to prisons, to feed and transport refugees at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and to provide security at the country’s courts and ports of entry.

However, Watson courted controversy and details about how he bought favours from prominent government officials and some ANC heavyweights were laid bare at the state capture commission.

During his testimony, Agrizzi did not hold back.

He recounted how Watson allegedly fostered a relationship with former President Jacob Zuma and approached him to shut down a National Prosecuting Authority case against Bosasa.

Agrizzi, himself under investigation, claimed he pleaded with Watson to stop corrupt deals.

“Because it was just getting us deeper and deeper into trouble and eventually, this is what is going to close down the business and that’s what is going to put 6,000 families at risk. I pleaded with him that we stop being politically based as a company.”

But Agrizzi said with Zuma on Watson’s side, he felt totally untouchable and bulletproof.

Zuma’s successor Cyril Ramaphosa is also facing a storm of his own after he confirmed that Bosasa donated R500,000 towards his ANC presidential campaign in 2017.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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