- Adriaan Basson has alleged that BOSASA CEO Gavin Watson tricked ANC Women's League leaders out of their own company
- This same company would go on to garner billions in dodgy tenders from the state
- Briefly.co.za explores the allegations to give you a breakdown of how it reportedly went down
BOSASA CEO Gavin Watson might have died before he got a chance to answer for his company's alleged dodgy doings, but that hasn't prevented him from being thrust into the spotlight once more.
Briefly.co.za reported that Adriaan Basson, editor at News24, penned a book about the elusive businessman, detailing a story of affairs, abuse and corruption.
One of the claims put forward was that Watson had managed to swindle ANCWL leaders out of the company that would go on to gain notoriety.
Basson claimed that BOSASA's roots had already been tainted in questionable dealings, with Gavin and his brothers using members of the league to establish the entity and gain lucrative government contracts.
The following struggle veterans and prominent leaders had been reportedly drawn into the project:
- Former speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete
- Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
- Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu
- Former minister Nomvula Mokonyane
- Former ANCWL leader Hilda Ndude
- ANC activists such as Lindiwe Maseko, Nozuko ‘Girly’ Pikoli, Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini, Nomatyala Hangana, Makho Njobe and Adelaide Tambo, who served in advisory capacities
Mokonyane, who had been accused of corruption by former BOSASA employee Angelo Agrizzi, had kept her ties to the CEO despite being cut out of the deal later on.
Basson details how Mokonyane had been the lone representative of the ANCWL when Watson had purchased Meritum, which would belong to the leaders, from former Springbok Fanie van Zijl.
Mokonyane had made a surprise appearance at Watson's funeral, commenting on the late CEO:
“What he was doing together with Angelo Agrizzi [who detailed Watson’s corrupt dealings at the state capture inquiry], only his Creator will deal with. Who are we to judge? What we know is that every day Gavin used to say: ‘Forgive us for our trespasses.’ ”
So how did Watson score a company from the Women's League?
Watson had been approached to help the women run a company called Lindela, advising them to form a company called Dyambu Operations.
The purpose of this had been to add a 'feminine touch' to the mining industry at the time.
When Lindela had been cast into the spotlight, the ANCWL leaders had cut their ties with the company:
“[The ANCWL] could not be seen as running an inhuman, unhealthy facility where African women and children were being detained and maltreated.”
This had allowed Watson to offer a deal which would place the company firmly in his hands.
In hindsight, Ndude said that this had not been as shocking as they had once thought:
“He used our names. Gavin Watson’s name was never anywhere. He was using us to bulldoze into the mines, to get him more business opportunities. Gavin is the biggest manipulator … Gavin knows how to corrupt people because he realised black people don’t know anything about money, especially the comrades, because really, we were never involved in issues of money. All that he wanted was people with struggle credentials."
Watson, after purchasing the company for a laughable R5.5 million, changed the name to what we now know as BOSASA.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!