Pierre van Tonder, the former CEO of Spur Corporation, "remains in a critical condition in hospital" since Sunday morning, the restaurant group told Fin24 on Friday.
The Spur Corporation said in a statement on Monday that Van Tonder "shot himself at his home on Sunday morning" and was critical at a Cape Town hospital.
The 62-year-old Van Tonder headed Spur for 24 years before retiring in December last year.
"Everyone at Spur is devastated at this news of our much-loved former colleague, and we are doing all we can to support his family. We ask that everyone give his family space to be by Pierre’s side at this most difficult time," said Val Nichas, the current CEO of the Spur Corporation.
The celebrated former CEO was still in school when he took on his first job as a waiter to earn extra money.
He joined Spur in 1982 as a junior restaurant manager and became CEO in 1996. Under Van Tonder's leadership, Spur expanded its brand portfolio to include Italian food chain Panarottis, burger joint RocoMamas, steak restaurant The Hussar Grill and seafood restaurant John Dory's.
The group grew to more than 630 restaurants in South Africa with a presence in 17 countries.
Van Tonder is a father of two, and told News24 last year that he has been married for more than thirty years. At the time, Van Tonder said he hoped to find other entrepreneurial opportunities as he was "too young to retire".