Hundreds brave wet weather as bidding wars erupt over Bosasa assets

About 600 bidders and onlookers stood ten-deep inside Bosasa's Imbizo Hall on Wednesday morning, braving wet and cold conditions to grab a piece of the Bosasa pie.

The first day of a three-day auction got underway with intense bidding for nearly 140 cars, trucks and bakkies that belonged to the corruption accused company in Krugersdorp. 

A stand selling boerewors rolls stood on one corner of the veranda with bidders and onlookers making good use of the tea and coffee facilities.

Parking was hard to come by as the entire pavement along Windsor Road was completely full as well as a field at the end of the road as bidders, onlookers and journalists arrived in their numbers.

Two cars that belonged to late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson were the talk of the day - his most recent one, a blue BMW X5, was sold for R590 000, while his previous car, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, went under the hammer for R500 000.

The Porsche was used by Watson's wife in Port Elizabeth and was collected by the auctioneers last week.

The buyers will have to pay a 10% commission, 15% value added tax and a R2 500 documentation fee, bringing the price of the BMW to R740 000, and the Porsche to R627 500 - but both the purchases are subject to consent - which means the individuals who used the cars, which are both company vehicles, have first option to buy them and only if they decline, will the bidders be able to take delivery.

Bosasa, auction

Clive Lazarus of Park Village Auctions addresses a large crowd of bidders and onlookers during day one of the Bosasa auction. (Kyle Cowan, News24)

The bidder who bought the BMW refused to speak with News24 and left the auction after his winning bid.

One lucky bidder paid just R125 000 for an Audi A5 Sportback, a V6 luxury German sedan. The remaining vehicles - consisting of Toyota Etioses, Avanzas and Fortuners - was sold for relatively high prices despite the high kilometres on the clock.

News24 spotted former Bosasa manager Frans van Tonder, who testified at the Zondo commission into state capture earlier this year, although it did not appear as if he was bidding on any items.

Two other former Bosasa employees, who did not want to be named, were also in attendance and made bids for the vehicles they used while working for the company.

WATCH |Inside Gavin Watson’s lair and the exorcism of Angelo Agrizzi

The auction is set to resume on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, three large properties including Bosasa's head office park, a 26ha property on which the Lindela Repatriation Centre stands - as well as a massive property around the corner from the head office on which sits a copper smelting plant and several buildings.

Dozens of pieces of furniture and office equipment are also set to be sold on day two, while on day three, high-end security equipment will be the top prize.

The auction went ahead despite an eleventh-hour court application by Watson's nephew, Jared Watson, to place the Bosasa companies under business rescue.

Watson filed the urgent court application on Tuesday, and his attorney stated to media houses the aim of the application was to halt the liquidation and auction.

READ: Watsons in last gasp bid to halt auction, liquidation of Bosasa

On Tuesday, one of the liquidators, Cloete Murray, told News24 the auction would proceed regardless.

Bosasa was placed under voluntary liquidation in February 2019 when two banks told the company they would be closing its accounts.

The proceeds from the auction, minus the auctioneers' fees, are set to be pooled with other cash assets of the company to pay creditors.

It is expected the South African Revenue Service will have the largest claim.

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