Jacob Zuma: Gavin Watson death filled with gaps

Mourners attend the Gavin Watson funeral.
Mourners attend the Gavin Watson funeral.
Image: Kathryn Kimberley

The details surrounding the death of former Bosasa boss Gavin Watson was filled with gaps, Jacob Zuma told mourners in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, which the former president said had left him concerned.

Zuma was one of the speakers at the funeral at the Feather Market Hall.

"The report that the family gave me had gaps and that worried me. I sincerely hope there will be an explanation" Zuma said.

"I sincerely hope that Comrade Gavin's death is not going to be counted among [the] mysterious."

Zuma described Watson as a true Comrade who understood the need to build South Africa.

"Here lies a true democrat. This was our brother. Your work has been done and we are now looking to the next generation because there is still a long way to go," he said.

"It's not good to feel that we are not safe in our own country. These are matters that need leaders to make us feel safe," Zuma said.

During the tributes, the funeral was characterized by struggle songs between the various speakers.

Addressing the mourners, Watson's younger brother, Valence, said it made no sense that Nelson Mandela Bay was not being run by the ANC.

"During the discussions around the funeral there was a big push to have the funeral in Johannesburg because that is where most of his family is. But [Watson's wife] Leigh-Ann said the funeral had to be here (in Port Elizabeth) and so it is," Valence said.

Hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects to the late Gavin Watson in Port Elizabeth on September 3 2019.

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane said Watson's named would be remembered for making a significant contribution to the province.

"I wish Gavin had left us having cleared his name at the Zondo Commission," Mabuyane said.

He also used the opportunity to speak about violence against women.

Mabuyane said Watson would have condemned the recent reports including that off Uyinene Mrwetyana, a University of Cape Town first-year student who was brutally murdered on August 24.

"Comrade Gavin would want us to say enough is enough and to say that we cannot go on like this," he said.

The late Gavin Watson was laid to rest in his hometown, Port Elizabeth, on August 3 2019. The former president of SA, Jacob Zuma, was among the mourners in the Feather Market Centre and was one of the keynote speakers.

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