JOHANNESBURG – Speaking to Moneyweb on Tuesday evening, former Harmony CEO Bernard Swanepoel spoke highly of the late Roger Kebble. He said Kebble gave him “a chance of a lifetime” when he offered him the job at Harmony in the early nineties.
Kebble, father of the slain mining magnate Brett Kebble, committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon in his car in Cape Town, EWN earlier reported.
Kebble’s son Guy, brother to the late Brett, reportedly confirmed that his father shot himself in his car in the Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt.
In the recent past Roger Kebble was widely known as the father of Brett, who was shot in an “assisted suicide” in 2005 as his business empire collapsed with billions of rands unaccounted for.
Brett’s murderers walked free after striking a deal with prosecutors to testify against alleged drug dealer Glen Agliotti.
Roger Kebble ‘a real miner’
According to Swanepoel, Roger Kebble was part of a team at Randgold that led change in the gold mining industry in the early nineties.
At that stage, mining bosses were living large, while mine workers and shareholders received little benefit.
Shareholders like Mercury Asset Management in London called for change in what could be described as a “shareholder revolt”. A new management team was then appointed at Randgold, under CEO Peter Flack, which Roger Kebble was a part of.
“I knew him well. We worked closely together,” Swanepoel said. “He gave me a huge opportunity. He was very big in my life.” He described Roger Kebble as “a real miner who knew how a mine worked” and as someone who could speak with authority in a boardroom.
Brett’s involvement in mining, Swanepoel said, would most probably not have been if it weren’t for his father. Roger later became caught up in his son’s affairs and defended his son, as any father would do, Swanepoel said. “He just did his best to be a good father.
“Even when Brett later saw means to an enemy, Roger and I could talk to each other and differ from each other in a respectful manner.”
Swanepoel said the allegations against Roger Kebble were allegations that have never been proven. “All of us have good and bad in us, but I just knew the good Roger. He was a fantastic person who did good in many lives.”
He said over the last few years he and Roger Kebble started seeing each other socially again.