WATCH - Bosasa's Gavin Watson: 'Put God at the centre of everything'

2019-02-22 18:49
Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson

Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson

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At the same time that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was finalising a damning report into corruption at Bosasa, it's CEO Gavin Watson was giving testimony at a Christian men's conference about how the company's foundations were built on Christian values.

Netwerk24 first published the four-minute video on Friday. It was part of a 2009 DVD, recorded during the conference at the NG church in Moreleta Park.

According to the report, former Springboks, Pierre Spies and Victor Matfield, were also on the DVD.

Watson speaks about his Christian upbringing and how his parents taught him that he needed to make a difference in society.

"I can thank God that I've been brought up in a Christian environment all my life. I have grown up as a Christian. And what my parents taught me is basically that to change society and to change the world around you, you need to make a difference," Watson says in the video.

"And the only way you can make a difference is that God must be at the centre of whatever you do. Once he is at the centre, then you start blessing everyone around you...you become a ‘Kingdom person’ in a ‘Kingdom environment'.

Watson speaks about prayer meetings at Bosasa every morning from 06:00 to 08:00. This, he explained, was to ensure that "God was a cornerstone of who we should be in the company" and as a result, Watson explained, his business was founded on Christian principles.

During his bombshell testimony before the Zondo commission into state capture, former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizz referred to Bosasa as a type of religious cult.

Agrizzi revealed damning evidence of nearly two decades of corruption, directly implicating Watson in a bribes-for-tenders scheme that involving the bribery of politicians and government officials in exchange for multibillion-rand government contracts.

Watson reportedly told Netwerk24 that the myriad allegations of corruption he has been implicated in had 'not changed my life of prayer or Christian beliefs'.

The SIU report that was finalised around the same time that Watson was spreading the word of God, found evidence of bribes paid to former correctional services officials Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham in exchange for the award of four lucrative tenders to Bosasa between 2004 and 2005.

The report recommended that criminal charges be considered, but the case has dragged on for years – only for Mti, Gillingham as well as Agrizzi and other former Bosasa staff, all who testified before the Zondo Commission, to be arrested earlier this month.

On Monday, Bosasa announced that the company had been placed under voluntary liquidation following a decision by its bank, FNB, to shut down its accounts.

On Friday, liquidator Cloete Murray arrived at Bosasa's offices after having secured the premises on Thursday evening to begin his arduous task.

Just after noon on Friday, members of the new SARS Illicit Economy Unit also arrived. Murray said SARS had requested access to documents and computers, and he agreed.

In the 2009 video, Watson puts his success in the business world down to a verse from the Bible.

"If you ask for the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and good judgment, God will give it to you. This gives you a competitive advantage," he said.

Bosasa was awarded an estimated R12bn in tenders between 2004 and 2019 - a figure that is likely to grow.

According to Agrizzi’s testimony, not a single one of Bosasa's government contracts was won on merit, but through bribes.

Read more on:    gavin watson  |  bosasa
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