Wed, 29 Nov 2006

Brett Kebble
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The Life of Brett Kebble
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Western Areas gains 7% on coup speculation
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Kebble vulnerable to shareholder activism

Brett Kebble shot dead

Posted: Wed, 28 Sep 2005

[] -- BRETT Kebble (41), the unpredictable mining businessman who was recently deposed from the boards of Western Areas and Randgold & Exploration, was shot dead while driving in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

Kebble was found dead in his car, a silver Mercedes, on Atholl Oaklands Road, situated in a leafy Johannesburg suburb. According to Chris Wilkens, a spokesman for the South African Police, there was evidence Kebble had been followed.

A spokesman for the Kebble family confirmed that police had opened a murder investigation.

According to reports, Kebble had a dinner arrangement with Sello Rasethaba, CEO of Matodzi Resources. Both he and Andile Nkuhlu, a business partner of Kebble's and associated through the ANC Youth League, were at the scene of the crime.

Police estimate the shooting occured between 9pm and 9.15pm (South African time). More than one shot had been fired to the upper body. The mortuary van took Kebble's body away at about 1.45am (South African time).

Kebble's car had been partially driven off the road on to the bridge curb where it came to rest facing Johannesburg.

"I'm shocked and amazed. I hope this doesn't affect perceptions of doing business in South Africa," said Ferdi Dippenaar, Harmony Gold commercial director and who was long associated with Kebble.

An audibly shaken Mark Wellesley-Wood, CEO of DRDGOLD, a company that often locked horns with JCI, said he was devastated: "My thoughts are with Brett's wife and children," he said.

Born in 1964 Springs, a satellite mining town near Johannesburg, Brett Kebble was the first son of Roger Kebble, a well known mining entrepreneur.

In 1981, he obtained a first class matriculation grade from St Andrews School in Welkom, and graduated from the University of Cape Town seven years later.
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After training as a lawyer, Kebble decided to join his father in 1991 to purchase a controlling stake in Rand Leases Gold Mining

In 1994, Kebble helped engineer the takeover of Randgold & Exploration where he was appointed commercial director, a position he held for about two years.

But by 1996, Kebble joined Mzi Khumalo in the takeover of JCI, South Africa's first major empowerment deal in the mining sector. Kebble had been involved in black empowerment ever since.

John Stratton, an Australian businessman with whom Kebble dealt in the past, said that Brett's friends and family were absolutely devastated.

"We are all in deep shock. Brett was one of my closest friends and I have the greatest respect for him as a visionary whose contribution to black empowerment in South Africa is enormous," Stratton said.