Roger Kebble - sad end to a big life

2015-08-26 14:28
Roger Kebble (Johann Hattingh, Netwerk24)

Roger Kebble (Johann Hattingh, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Businessman Roger Kebble has died at the age of 75 in an apparent suicide in the leafy, upmarket suburb of Bishopscourt, Cape Town.

Western Cape police confirmed that the body of a man in his late seventies was found with a gunshot wound to his head on Tuesday. An inquest was opened.

A reliable source told Netwerk24 reporter Maygene de Wee that two suicide notes were found in the car.

Meanwhile, Kebble's son Guy told EWN that his father had been unwell for some time and felt as though he was a burden.

Nearly ten years ago, on September 27, Roger’s mining magnate son, Brett Kebble, was shot dead in Melrose, Johannesburg. Both father and son were found dead in their respective silver Mercedes Benzes.

After an extended trial in which he pleaded not guilty, Glenn Agliotti was discharged of Brett Kebble’s murder and other charges.

Former security chief for the Kebbles, Clinton Nassif, had testified that he helped orchestrate Brett Kebble’s assisted suicide.

According to the Mail and Guardian, he also told the court that Roger Kebble had known about the plan beforehand.

Son Brett 'was a fighter'

Roger Kebble was reportedly not well enough to testify because of a heart condition, but told the newspaper: “I honestly cannot imagine a scenario where Brett could have said to these guys that things were getting too much for him so he wanted out and the best option was to pump seven bullets into him.

“I can’t see Brett agreeing to that. He was a fighter.”

He also told the newspaper he believed his son was killed because he wanted to come clean about various wrongdoings he was involved in.

Roger Ainsley Ralph Kebble was born in Springs, on the East Rand, on November 9 1939, according to a profile on Bloomberg Business and the JCI website. He finished matric at St Andrews School and went on to obtain business and mining-related qualifications.

According to Bloomberg Business, he racked up around 40 years of experience in the mining industry.

In 1994, he joined Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD) as chairperson – the mining group that gave rise, among others, to Harmony Gold.

Fight with Mark Wellesley-Wood

One of the most public fights in Kebble's career was with Mark Wellesley-Wood.

When Kebble's fraud case was struck from the roll of Johannesburg regional court in January 2005 (he was out on bail at the time after his arrest in November 2002), he still claimed the charge laid against him by DRD stemmed from a boardroom dispute with Wellesley-Wood, his successor as head of the mining operation.

According to the charge sheet, Kebble faced 62 counts of fraud relating to allegedly inflated invoices issued to Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD), on which DRD paid Skilled Labour Brokers, News24 reported at the time.

The spat with Wellesley-Wood also resulted in Wellesley-Wood's work permit being cancelled – allegedly at Kebble's request.

The fight with the Brit was not the only one in Kebble's murky dealings, yet interviewers over the years have described him as ever courteous and shrewd, and said that he treated everyone the same.

In interviews in later years, as the rift between Roger and Brett became more apparent, he said he regretted not having a proper relationship with his son. It was speculated that the suave, ambitious younger Kebble's approach to business might have proved too far removed from his father's.

Roger stepped away from all his mining involvements in the months following Brett's death.

In the end, bad health, and grief for a son who he believed to the end was murdered, might have brought the mining magnate to his knees.

Read more on:    brett kebble  |  cape town

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