WATCH | Gavin Watson unpacked - what you need to know about Bosasa's CEO

27 August 2019 - 13:49 By Cebelihle Bhengu

Controversial Bosasa boss Gavin Watson died when his car crashed into a pillar near OR Tambo International Airport on August 26 2019. This is what we know.

Former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson is dominating news headlines after his death on Monday morning. From struggle icon and anti-apartheid activist to corruption-riddled CEO, here's what you need to know about Watson:

Who is he?

Gavin Watson was the CEO of controversial company, African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, which has been making headlines since the release of the report by the Special Investigating Unit in 2009. The report details corruption in four tenders awarded by the department of correctional services to Bosasa. 

This year Watson dominated evidence given by former Bosasa employee and executive, Angelo Agrizzi, who alleged that the company forked out millions to acquire government tenders and buy associations with politicians from the ruling party.

Watson's alleged failed attempt to buy Agrizzi's silence further saw him make headlines as Agrizzi told the Zondo commission of inquiry about the attempted bribe. 

The ANC viewed him as a struggle icon. In the statement released on Monday, the party described him and his brothers "as struggle icons who associated themselves with the struggle for liberation at an early age".

Death before responding to allegations

Amid the testimonies at the Zondo commission, calls for Watson to answer to allegations of fraud and corruption levelled against him gained momentum.

Although a set date for his appearance before the Zondo commission had not been announced, News24 reported that he was supposed to appear before the tax inquiry on Tuesday, where his tax compliance would have been investigated.

According to the report, Watson was among 20 people scheduled to testify. 

His death

Watson died on Monday morning on the R21 near OR Tambo International Airport when his car crashed into the pillar of a bridge.

The  SABC reported on Tuesday morning that forensic engineer and accident reconstruction expert Konrad Lotter had been appointed by legal representatives of the Watson family to investigate the crash.