On 17 January this year, South Africans watched, transfixed, as video from a hidden mobile phone camera was broadcast on TV. It showed a group of men, in corporate uniforms, walking into a vault – where one of them counts out bundles of banknotes: “One, two, three, four, five … bloody Monopoly money,” he laughs through heavy breaths, “must be a million.” The man’s name is Gavin Watson, and the whistleblowers who put this video into the public domain claim it shows him counting out bribes to be paid to officials in the South African government. They have given accounts that implicate cabinet ministers, senior lawmakers and even the prosecutors tasked with investigating the corrupt practices of Watson’s logistics company, Bosasa. The video is the most dramatic evidence yet of corruption within the ruling African National Congress (ANC). But Watson is not just another fat-cat industrialist accused of trying to make a fast buck by bribing officials: his family were legendary in the anti-apartheid movement. He is the oldest of four brothers from the Eastern Cape province, white men who became heroes to the black majority when they broke apartheid laws to play rugby with black people in 1976. They… Read full this story
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