Sat, 08 Aug 2020

The family of former Bosasa boss Gavin Watson has reportedly claimed that - if he was murdered - they have a pretty good idea who was behind it.

According to Times Select, Watson's nephew Jared said if any foul play led to Watson's death, then it "can only be one person".

Watson was killed in a "horrific" car accident in the early hours of August 26 close to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Jared told Times Select that while the family could not definitively say that Watson was murdered, they had numerous unanswered questions about how he died, fuelled by some of the findings of a private forensic pathologist.

The private pathology report has reportedly revealed that Watson was already dead before he crashed his company car into a concrete pillar at the OR Tambo International Airport.

The Citizen on Sunday quoted an anonymous family member who confirmed the findings that were first reported by Sunday World.

Not suicide

This means that Watson's death was most probably not a suicide, as initially thought.

The embattled Watson, who used his struggle credentials to secure lucrative business deals after the fall of apartheid, in recent months became the subject of scrutiny as allegations of corruption and bribery started to surface at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

His former lieutenant, Angelo Agrizzi, turned on Watson and revealed him to be the absolute kingpin in the Bosasa empire of bribes, intimidation and cold hard cash.

During Agrizzi's testimony, Watson was painted as the key figure in a nearly two-decade-long scheme that involved paying numerous bribes to government officials and political leaders in exchange for lucrative government contracts.

Data from the National Treasury shows that, between 2004 and 2019, Bosasa netted an estimated R12bn from numerous state departments, a conservative calculation that is likely to increase.

Donation to CR17

Watson was also linked to a R500 000 donation made to President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC election campaign, a donation Ramaphosa denied knowing anything about and which was made in such a way as to hide Watson's identity as a donor.

Since these revelations, the heat was on for Watson, with the South African Revenue Service investigating him to determine whether he had hidden funds from SARS, and exactly how much he may owe in unpaid taxes.

News24 earlier reported that a wallet containing R70 in cash was all that Watson had with him when he died.

Police officials who attended the scene also found his ID card and driver's licence, but there were no travel bags, passports or cellphones in the company-owned Toyota Corolla.

The accident occurred at about 05:05 on the road leading up to the drop-off zone of the airport. It is understood that the vehicle collided with the pillar of a bridge after Watson allegedly lost control.

Watson was supposed to testify at an inquiry into his tax affairs the day after his death.

May have been murdered

His death led to much speculation that he had committed suicide or may have been murdered.

According to the private pathology report, Watson's body did not show any signs of "significant trauma", such as facial injuries or significant bruising.

In addition, despite Watson's neck artery being severed, there reportedly wasn't enough blood found on the scene that would be consistent with such an injury.

Speaking to Kieno Kammies on Cape Talk, forensic investigator Dr David Klatzow affirmed the findings of the forensic report.

"If he (Watson) was alive at the time of the crash and he had severed a major blood vessel in the neck, that would produce a fair amount of bleeding, and it would appear...that there wasn't a lot of blood. That's concerning," Klatzow said.

Jared told Times Select that both the crash scene investigator and pathologist, whom the family hired, have ruled out that the crash was "self-inflicted". They reportedly believe it is either foul play or an accident.

Jared reportedly said on the balance of probabilities, Watson's death could be foul play, but declined to name the person the family suspected of being behind it.

Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale told Times Select the investigation was progressing with the intention of preparing for an inquest hearing into the crash.

According to the Citizen, the findings of the private pathology report was preliminary and it would be best to wait for the final findings, which would include information such as toxicology data.

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