Health Practitioner, Dr Denise Bjorkman, says she had never known Gavin Watson to be suicidal – amid conspiracy theories surrounding his sudden death, a day before he was due to testify at the SARS tax inquiry.

The Bosasa CEO – now known as African Global Operations – died near the OR Tambo International Airport, east of Johannesburg, on Monday morning. Police have opened a culpable homicide case after the 71-year-old crashed into a concrete pillar on the R21 highway. He reportedly called a prayer meeting at the firm’s Krugersdorp office, before he signed out a company vehicle for the weekend – leaving behind his BMW-X5.

Bjorkman, who spent 15 years supplying health services to Bosasa employees – has described as unusual a move by Watson to call the prayer meeting hours before he died.

Was he suicidal? The answer is I never knew him as that. He was very bold and confident and you’ve got that certainty in his presence. This was completely out of order, which suggests a downward spiral. He was known for organising prayer meetings if something critical was happening. For the directive meeting, a day before something like this happened – it does raise a massive flag. There was no way that I would have ignored this. Working in the mental health field, if I saw this with a client, I would immediately become suspicious and start putting in interventions to monitor behaviour to support that person.

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