Zondo signed directive for Gavin Watson to submit affidavit to state capture inquiry before his death

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. (Alon Skuy/Gallo)
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. (Alon Skuy/Gallo)

State capture inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, announced on Wednesday that he recently signed a directive for Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, who died in a car crash on Monday, to furnish the inquiry with an affidavit.

Zondo said the commission's personnel had already been in touch with Watson's lawyers and that attempts were made to arrange for directives to be served on Watson. but it had not been done by the time he died.

Watson died when the Toyota Corolla he drove on Monday collided with a concrete pillar on the road leading to the drop-off and parking zones of OR Tambo International Airport shortly after 05:00.

"Yes indeed, he was one of the people the commission intended to give an opportunity to come and give evidence and put his side of the story before the commission, and be questioned by the evidence leaders and the commission, but he had not been called to give evidence as yet and no date had been arranged.

"What had been done is that either last week… or [the] week before that, I had signed what we call a Regulation 10 (6) directive and that is the directive that the chairperson is empowered in terms of the regulations to issue to a person that may have information that is relevant to the terms of reference of the commission," Zondo said.

Zondo said the directive he signed did not require Watson to appear before the commission but rather to furnish an affidavit dealing with various matters that had been raised in the statement of former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi.

During his testimony before the Zondo commission, Agrizzi delivered bombshell testimony of alleged illegality, including corrupt tenders, bribes and claims that Bosasa bribed its way out of trouble after it was in hot water with the National Prosecuting Authority.

He also told Zondo that Watson paid senior staff cash on a monthly basis, and allegedly instructed his close associates to structure deals to hide the truth from the SA Revenue Service (SARS).

Agrizzi described the payments as an incentive for staff members to keep quiet about alleged bribery practices that continued for years.

He estimated that tens of millions of rand were paid in bribes to, mainly, Department of Correctional Services and Department of Social Development officials in exchange for lucrative multibillion-rand tenders, News24 earlier reported.

From 2006 to date, Bosasa won government contracts worth an estimated R12bn, National Treasury data shows.

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