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Zuma: Gavin Watson labeled as corrupt without evidence

Former President Jacob Zuma paid tribute to Gavin Watson at his funeral service in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

FILE: Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma has come out in defense of Bosasa’s late CEO Gavin Watson, saying that the controversial businessman was labeled corrupt without evidence.

Zuma paid tribute to Watson at his funeral service in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

He died in car crash last week a day before he was scheduled to appear before the Sars inquiry.

Jacob Zuma said that Watson and his family have been treated unfairly.

"This family has suffered because of its political clarity and its commitment to the freedom of the democratic government of this country."

He said that a false narrative was created about Watson.

"He has been labeled as the most corrupt person but nobody has even given a teaspoon that he stole anywhere [sic]."

Zuma questioned the circumstances around Watson’s death, saying that there were gaps in the story.

The former president said that Watson was seen as problematic and he knew this because he too was treated the same way and even poisoned.

"We need to address things differently, if we don't, we're all going to die one by one."

While paying tribute to Watson, Zuma also claimed that the state capture commission of inquiry was established to target both of them.