Gavin Watson

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Gavin Watson
Gavin Watson Late 1948-2019.jpg
Born Gavin Joseph Watson
12 July 1948
Somerset East, Cape Province, Union of South Africa
Died 26 August 2019 (aged 71)
Ekurhuleni, Gauteng
South Africa
Cause of death Car Accident
  • Businessman
Known for CEO of Bosasa
Relatives Cheeky Watson (brother)
Luke Watson (nephew)

Gavin Watson (12 July 1948 - 26 August 2019) was a South African businessman. At the time of his death he was serving as the chief executive officer of Bosasa, a company that is fending off accusations of being among the key players in the alleged State Capture and alleged corruption during the Jacob Zuma years.

Apartheid Years and Activism

It has been reported that Gavin Watson and his brothers were raised by their father under the teachings that All Men are Created Equal. This led to his family defying apartheid laws on racial segregation and the overall concept of the apartheid system. Gavin Watson's brother, Cheeky Watson, is the earliest known white South Africa to have participated in a team sport which included non-whites in open defiance of the unjust apartheid system. It was during this period that Gavin Watson met members of the ANC who later became members of the new Government of South Africa.


Gavin Watson died in the early hours of Monday morning (around 5am South African time, according to reports) after a Toyota Corolla Quest he was driving collided with a column of an overhead bridge outside the OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni in the Gauteng province of South Africa. According to reports Gavin Watson did not have his cellphone with him; he only had a wallet which had ZAR70 and no luggage or any indication that he have been on his way to board a plane.

Reaction to His Death

The death of Gavin Watson did not gain early traction in mainstream media due to the death of renowned sports journalist David Kekana less than 24 hours earlier. David Kekana would have been far widely known than Gavin Watson despite Bosasa being the most popular topic in the media at time.

Once the news of Gavin Watson hit mainstream media, it quickly overshadowed all the other headlines. The earliest subject matter was the questioning of the car in which he died, a Toyota Corolla Quest - which has been misreported as Toyota Corolla. Gavin Watson was facing accusations of pay-for-play which involved millions and the general public assumed that he would have lived a flashy lifestyle and therefore could not have driven a Toyota Corolla.

It was soon established that this is true; a Toyota Corolla Quest in which he died belonged to Bosasa, he had signed it out from the company premises a day earlier and his regular car was a BMW X5. News24 later suggested that someone inside Bosasa had indicated that Gavin Watson's BMW X5 may have had a mechanical issue.

Conspiracy Theories and Alleged Eyewitnesses

Gavin Watson's death has been a subject of multiple conspiracy theories ranging from claims that he is not dead, to he committed suicide to he was run off the road and killed. This is largely due to the allegations that he was heavily involved in corrupt activities which included bribing politicians.

Culpable Homicide Investigation

News24 reported that the police were investigating the case of culpable homicide into the death of Gavin Watson.

Accident Pictures

Gavin Watson Toyota Corolla Quest.jpg
Gavin Watson Toyota Corolla Quest being pulled onto the flatbed.jpg
Gavin Watson Accident Scene.jpg
The Column to which Gavin Watson slammed.jpg


  1. News24, More eyewitnesses claim to have seen Gavin Watson's 'massive speed' crash, 29 August 2019
  2. News24, 'Eyewitness' claims Gavin Watson committed suicide, 29 August 2019
  3. Business Insider, You can probably get away with posting graphic photos of Gavin Watson’s accident on social media, even fake ones – but it's a bad idea, 29 August 2019
  4. Sowetan LIVE, Five must-read Gavin Watson stories, 29 August 2019
  5. News24, Gavin Watson's cellphone traced to Germiston and Bryanston after his death - nephew, 29 August 2019
  6. Sowetan LIVE, Angelo Agrizzi cynical about Gavin Watson fatal crash, 29 August 2019
  7. Sowetan LIVE, Gavin Watson an ANC man for years, 29 August 2019
  8. IOL, Gavin Watson's family silent on Zondo commission affidavit, 29 August 2019
  9. Times LIVE, Gavin Watson: Speedometer in car's wreck froze at 140km/h, 29 August 2019
  10. eNCA, Gavin Watson's family hires accident reconstruction expert, 29 August 2019
  11. Business LIVE, EDITORIAL: Gavin Watson – the dots not to connect, 29 August 2019
  12. Daily Maverick, Gavin Watson, the man who bought the ANC, dies in horrific car crash, 29 August 2019
  13. Herald LIVE, From struggle hero to king of murky deals, 29 August 2019
  14. Sowetan LIVE, Gavin Watson's body to be 'fingerprinted to stamp out all speculation', 29 August 2019
  15. Cape Talk, 'It's highly likely Watson's personal belongings were removed after accident', 29 August 2019
  16. SABC News, Gavin Watson to be laid to rest in Port Elizabeth, 29 August 2019


Young Gavin Watson.png
Ronnie-Valence and Gavin Watson.png
Gavin Watson and Jacob Zuma.jpg
Jacob Zuma Gavin Watson Bheki Cele.jpg
Gavin-Watson Papa-F-Leshabane and Jackie-Leyds.jpg

See Also