Gavin Watson's cellphone traced to Germiston and Bryanston after his death - nephew

Gavin Watson.
Gavin Watson.

A cellphone belonging to Gavin Watson - the chief executive officer of Bosasa who was killed in a car crash on Monday morning - was moved around on the day he died.

In an interview with Alec Hogg on Biznews Radio, Watson's nephew Jared said the phone was in Germiston and then in Bryanston – in the evening, at around 19:00. 

"We went with the police to find the phone but they could only locate it to a radius of apparently 30 to 50 metres. So we looked around in the dark and we couldn't find it and then eventually we were no longer able to trace it," Jared Watson said. 

This could explain why no cellphone was found in Watson's possession after he was killed.

News24 earlier reported that a wallet containing R70 in cash was all that Watson had with him when he died in the horrific crash at OR Tambo International Airport.

Police officials who attended the scene also found his ID card and driver's licence, but there were no travel bags, passports or cellphones in the company-owned Toyota Corolla. 

The accident occurred at about 05:05 on the road leading up to the drop-off zone of the airport. It is understood that the vehicle collided with the pillar of a bridge after Watson allegedly lost control. The officer described the scene as "horrific".

Watson was supposed to testify at an inquiry into his tax affairs on Tuesday.

READ | 5 key facts about Gavin Watson

Jared Watson told Hogg that he had seen his uncle the night before he died when he left the former's home at around 20:00.

Good spirits

"I was due to see him the following morning anytime between 07:30 or 08:30. We were going to be driving to Pretoria together to see our attorneys in preparation for the following day when Gavin was due to appear at a tax enquiry."

Jared said his uncle was in good spirits on Sunday night, hours before the fatal car crash.

"When he left in the evening he was very jovial. He was well-prepared for his inquiry and I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary."

The embattled Watson recently became the subject of scrutiny as allegations of corruption and bribery started to surface at the state capture commission of inquiry.

ALSO READ | Family can't rule out foul play in Bosasa boss Gavin Watson's fatal crash

His former lieutenant, Angelo Agrizzi, turned on him and testified that he was the absolute kingpin in the Bosasa empire of bribes, intimidation and cold hard cash.

During Agrizzi's testimony, Watson was painted as the key figure in a nearly two-decade-long scheme that allegedly involved paying numerous bribes to government officials and political leaders in exchange for lucrative government contracts. 

Data from the National Treasury shows that, between 2004 and 2019, Bosasa netted an estimated R12bn from numerous state departments, a conservative calculation.

Well-prepared for inquiry

Watson was also linked to a R500 000 donation to President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC election campaign, a payment Ramaphosa denied knowing anything about and which was made in such a way as to hide Watson's identity as a donor.

Since these revelations, the heat was on for Watson, with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) investigating him to determine whether he had hidden funds from SARS, and exactly how much he may owe in unpaid taxes.

According to Jared, who is a chartered accountant by training, they were well-prepared for the SARS inquiry that was scheduled for Tuesday. 

"We had prepared a 400-page file of all evidence supporting everything that he had to say and that was due to be submitted. We believed this would have explained, or cleared up his name," he told Hogg.  

It is uncertain how Watson's death will affect the inquiry.

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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