[imagesource: Kyle Cowan / News24]
As a country, you get a sense of just how corrupt your political system is when names like Gavin Watson disappear from the headlines, crowded out by the latest scandal.
In case you didn’t know, Watson, who died under mysterious circumstances in a car crash, paid off more ANC politicians than you can name and spent many years pulling the strings of state capture from his Bosasa headquarters.
That business has been likened to a cult, and for good reason, with enough nefarious dealings to fill Adriaan Basson’s book, Blessed by Bosasa: Inside Gavin Watson’s state capture cult.
News24’s Kyle Cowan recently went inside the belly of the beast, otherwise known as the buildings of African Global Operations, as Bosasa has been rebranded.
The offices have been opened as part of a three-day auction that will see the company’s assets flogged to the highest bidders.
Let’s take a tour with Cowan, including a look inside Watson’s infamous lair, where he was known to stuff bags with money that were then dispatched to some of the country’s most powerful politicians:
You can read Cowan’s full account here, but let’s get to the bit about Watson and his incredible hypocrisy:
An extremely religious Watson left his mark of devout Christianity on almost every building. Throughout the massive office park, yet more silver plaques carry Bible passages, reminding staff who walk over them to be humble, to pray and to count their blessings.
It is a surreal place – where tender documents were cooked, cash used to pay bribes was counted out in one of three massive walk-in safes, journalists and law enforcement officers were plotted against and prosecutors stymied.
It is obvious that Watson and his other directors spent ridiculous sums of money making the Bosasa head office a luxurious and over-the-top workspace.
But the glossy veneer of corporate catalogue-esque design does not hide the stench of corruption.
Yeah, that stink will forever be attached to those premises.
As for day one of the auction itself, some serious cash was spent, reports IOL:
Two of late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson’s luxury cars fetched more than R1 million at the “biggest auction of the decade”.
Hundreds of people streamed to the African Global Operations (AGO) campus in Krugersdorp on Wednesday to snap up a bargain…
Watson’s 2016 blue BMW X5 was sold to the highest bidder for R590 000 and a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S went for R500 000, News24 reported.
His 2016 Mercedes-Benz C250, with 95 640km on the clock, sold for R255 000; a 2007 Toyota Hilux 2.5 single cab with 563 760km on the clock for R78 000; a 2013 Hilux SRX with 212 564km for R124 000; and a 2011 Audi S5 Sportback with 169 505km for R125 000…
Today will see three Bosasa properties go under the hammer, with auctioneers expecting to rake in a total of around R65 million from the auction as a whole.
Maybe we can get some of those ministers to hand back those bags of cash, too? Nah, I guess that would actually amount to some form of accountability.
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