Risky business

Risky business

Investec scores R2bn from Brett Kebble’s shady business empire, while lawyers walk off with a further R600 million of his tainted loot.

What was it that bound Investec so intimately to Brett Kebble, and why did the banking group take risks that (still) could cause it irreparable damage? The answer is simple: enormous splodges of wonga. Up to now, Investec has profited to the tune of R2 billion-plus from the Kebble saga, mostly brought to account after the wannabe mining magnate was fatally gunned down on 27 September 2005.

And that is only part of the story. In addition, the two “Kebble companies” that Investec hijacked under the thin veneer of a “rescue package” in August 2005 – JCI and Randgold & Exploration – have since paid just under R600 million to lawyers, auditors, directors and other “professionals” appointed at Investec’s behest.

The numbers are all in the public domain, audited and published. Why pay – and pay so handsomely – all these lawyers, accountants and directors? There are many possible reasons, but the main contender is “cover-up and keep them sweet at all costs” – with the subtext, naturally, of “paid handsomely, but not by Investec.”

More than half-a-billion rand stolen by Kebble was diverted to gold mining development company Western Areas, to develop South Deep, a new (then), ultra-deep gold mine west of Johannesburg. South Deep represented Kebble’s biggest personal investment, via shareholdings he held in JCI, which in turn held a major stake in Western Areas.

Kebble would do anything to protect South Deep, Western Areas and JCI.

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