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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 01:06 GMT

South African Business Tycoon Dies in Crash

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London - AFP

Tue, 27 Aug 2019 04:10 GMT

Controversial South African CEO Gavin Watson (73), who has been recently enmeshed in a top-level bribery scandal, died in a car crash on Monday, August 26th.

The late business tycoon was accused of paying bribes to former South African president Jacob Zuma. Watson died when the car he was driving rammed into a concrete pillar, according to police reports.

The police did not mention him by name, but said in a statement that he "allegedly lost control of his vehicle" near Johannesburg's OR Tambo international airport.

AFP reported that Watson's name has surfaced frequently this year after a judicial inquiry into entrenched state corruption began.

According to the probe, Watson's company, formerly known as Bosasa, dished out monthly bribes to Zuma and some top state officials in exchange for lucrative government tenders.

Bosasa's ex-chief operations officer, Angelo Agrizzi, told the inquiry in January this year that on one occasion Watson went to Zuma's private home and "personally brought" him the money.

The judicial inquiry is investigating a web of murky deals involving government officials, the wealthy Gupta family and state-owned entities during Zuma's nine-year tenure.

The company owned by the deceased has also been linked to a $32,800 donation to President Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 campaign to head the ruling African National Congress (ANC). According to local media, Watson had been due to testify before a tax inquiry on Tuesday, August 27th.