Gavin Watson: From the farm to being ‘exposed’ at Zondo inquiry

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

Gavin Watson. Picture: Bosasa

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans got to know Gavin Watson’s name and his business dealings in greater details through various testimonies at the state capture commission.

Watson was born on a farm in the Eastern Cape in 1946 and died in an accident near the OR Tambo International Airport during the early hours of Monday morning.

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

WATCH: Police to investigate car crash that killed Gavin Watson

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

The group now, known as African Global Operations, 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.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What former Bosasa boss revealed so far

During his testimony, Former Bosasa COO Angelo 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.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Agrizzi and four others receive bail for Bosasa corruption case