It can be said without a doubt that the Gupta and Watson families have brought to prominence the concept of state capture in the last 25 years of the country’s negotiated democracy.
These two families have redefined the relationship between the state and business.
A relationship that is largely characterised by corruption, disrespect for the rule of law and patronage system.
The Watsons, particularly Gavin Watson, through his company Bosasa, managed to play a vital role in the capturing of state departments and also controlling and owning high profile ANC leaders in government.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is the latest victim to find himself entangled in the Watson/Bosasa link.
Ramaphosa has taken Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on a review over the R50 000 cash from Bosasa which was donated to his 2017 ANC’s presidential elections.
A lot of questions have since been asked about the Bosasa company, thanks also largely to Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony at the Zondo Commission.
These questions include, who founded and owns Bosasa, how did the company become so heavily linked with ANC politicians, why it continued to do business with the state for years despite the mounting allegations of corruption and who are the directors of it?
In Blessed by Bosasa- Inside Gavin Watson’s state capture cult, author Adriaan Basson vigorously provides all the answers to the above questions.
Basson takes the reader from how the company was originally founded, to how it was stolen by Gavin Watson, and most importantly how it captured the Department of Correctional Services to win tenders amounting to R12.2 billion over the years through different state Presidents.
At the centre of all this looting of state funds was a freedom fighter turned businessman Gavin Watson.
Basson in this book provides well-researched evidence of how Watson created a corruption web, where he used his proximity to ANC leaders to loot state coffers, capture state entities, used religion to cover his dirty tracks and avoided prosecution throughout his life.
This is a book that will make readers question the ANC’s stance on corruption in the last decade or so.
Most importantly, a reader will question how on earth politicians and civil servants such as Linda Mti, Patrick Gillingham and former President Jacob Zuma are not yet in jail, despite evidence corruption against them.
Nongcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi, former Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and the Watson family might decide to sue Basson in future, as he has spared no one in this book.
Some might question Basson’s timing to release the book, after Watson’s untimely passing in August, which means he will not be out to defend himself.
Blessed by Bosasa is brave, insightful, well-researched and very risky.
However, it is a must-read book, especially for patriotic South Africans who want to live their lives in under a corrupt-free society.