Thu, 21 Nov 2019

Gavin Watson's death: 7 key unanswered questions

18 Sep 2019, 17:10 GMT+10

Questions surrounding the untimely death of corruption-accused Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson continue to swirl weeks after the horrific crash near OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

A blame game has now started among his friends and relatives, who are making serious accusations, claiming they know who would be to blame if Watson was indeed murdered.

READ | If Gavin Watson was murdered, family says they know who did it

A Watson family source, who did not wish to be named, told News24 that media reports about a preliminary pathology report were correct in indicating that either Watson was already dead when the Toyota Corolla he had been driving collided with a concrete bridge pillar, or his heart had stopped beating.

"This was confirmed by the pathologist's observations that in spite of the laceration of the neck and the severed aorta, neither of these wounds showed significant blood loss... this would confirm the pathologist's view that at the time these injuries were incurred, the heart was already not functioning," the source said.

This would indicate that Watson may have had a heart attack before the impact with the bridge. But, conspiracy theories abound that Watson may have been murdered and the accident scene staged.

How did Watson, who was 71 at the time of his death in the early hours of Monday, August 26, 2019, die?

Here are the key questions that remain unanswered:

Where was Watson going?

This remains one of the biggest mysteries. What was Watson doing at the airport at 05:00, if not to get a flight? His family remains silent about the issue and his name wasn't among those passengers on the early flights to Port Elizabeth, where he regularly flew to consult with his legal team. Was he fleeing the country?

How did he die?

Pending a final post-mortem report, the exact cause of death is uncertain. Photographs show a gaping neck wound, but there's almost no blood on his person, his clothes or in the car. This suggests his heart stopped beating before his neck was ripped open. Does that mean he died from a heart attack, or something similar?

Was it an accident... or not?

The column supporting the bridge over the road leading to the airport is metres away from the road. A motorist wanting to ram into it would have to purposefully veer off the road. Given the physical condition of Watson, who was fit, but under stress and taking medication, is it conceivable that he lost control and that it was an accident? Or was the Bosasa kingpin, as some claim, forced off the road?

Where are the witnesses?

Numerous witnesses have come forward to give their view of the events in the minutes immediately after Watson was believed to have collided with the concrete pillar. But no one, it seems, actually saw the crash. Ekurhuleni metro police were on the scene almost immediately and were able to summon paramedics and firefighters to the scene.

Where is Gavin Watson's cellphone?

Watson's family claims the phone was traced to Germiston and Bryanston on the day of the crash, but they have been unable to find the phone. Watson, News24 was told, never travelled anywhere without his phone. But, when emergency service workers searched the car at the scene, they could not find his cellphone or any luggage. Watson only had a wallet on him, with R70 cash as well as his ID and driver's licence.

Where is the tracking data from the car?

Watson was driving a Bosasa-owned Toyota Corolla sedan. His BMW X5 SUV was parked at Bosasa's offices in Krugersdorp. Bosasa vehicles, which are part of a large fleet the company uses, should have a tracking device, but the family and police have remained silent about whether the vehicle had a tracker.

Data from the tracking device could be crucial to build a timeline of Watson's movements.

Where is the CCTV footage?

It would appear that there is no CCTV footage of the moment of the crash, which occurred within walking distance of the airport. News24 observed no cameras that could conceivably cover the stretch of road where the crash occurred. Police are have not said whether any footage was recovered.

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