Fund Manager Who Pressured South African Magnate Kebble to Resign Was Shot
Stephen Mildenhall, a fund manager who pressured Brett Kebble to quit as chief executive officer of three mining companies, said he was shot at his home, corroborating a confession yesterday that the attack had been ordered by the mining magnate.
Mildenhall, the former chief investment officer of Cape Town’s Allan Gray Ltd., said he was shot at his home in the city on Aug. 31, 2005. Yesterday, former nightclub doorman Nigel McGurk, told the South Gauteng High Court, that he had hired two Cape Town residents to attack the money manager, executing orders that came from contacts of Kebble.
“I was shot twice in my left shoulder and once in my right shoulder,” Mildenhall said, recounting how two men forced their way into his carport. “I lay on the ground and waited for their car to drive away.”
The testimony was made at the court on the third day of the murder trial of Glenn Agliotti, a convicted drug dealer, who says Kebble asked him to organize his killing in an “assisted suicide.” Kebble was shot in his car in Johannesburg a month after he quit the companies following the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars of assets.
Allan Gray, which today has the equivalent of $38 billion under management, in 2005 held about 25 percent stakes in the three companies headed by Kebble -- Randgold & Exploration Ltd., JCI Ltd. and Western Areas Ltd. -- and had been working with Investec Ltd. to oust him. Mildenhall said he had hired investigators to probe the companies.
Loan, Rights Offer
Kebble quit the day before the attack on Mildenhall after Investec agreed to lend JCI 460 million rand ($63 million) loan to help complete a mine development by Western Areas on the world’s biggest gold deposit on condition Kebble left. JCI held 39 percent of Western Areas.
Mildenhall said Allan Gray had been in contact with Investec at the time and had agreed to support a concurrent rights offer by Western Areas if Kebble, who died aged 41, quit.
Yesterday McGurk testified that together with boxer Michael Schultz and a driver, Faizel Smith, he was paid to kill Kebble on the night of Sept. 27, 2005 as the mining executive was afraid of going to jail. The men have turned state’s witness to avoid prosecution.
“Mikey came to my shop and said Brett wants to go. I asked him, go where?” Smith said in court today. He “said no, they asked him to shoot him.”
Agliotti has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and attempted murder.
In an 11 year career in South Africa’s gold mining industry, Kebble helped set up two of the country’s four biggest gold companies, Harmony Gold Mining Co. and DRDGold Ltd. He also oversaw the contraction of JCI Ltd., once the country’s fourth-biggest gold producer, and faced fraud charges related to the manipulation of share prices aimed at thwarting the hostile takeover of one of his companies.
Randgold & Exploration shares were suspended in 2005 after the loss of the assets was discovered. They resumed trade in Johannesburg on June 4 this year after JCI agreed to return some assets that Randgold & Exploration said had been improperly transferred to it.
The assets that went missing in 2005, including Randgold Resources shares, would today be worth about 16 billion rand, Chief Executive Officer Marais Steyn said last month. Randgold & Exploration now has a market value of 404 million rand.
The case is: State versus Agliotti, Norbert Glenn, JPV 2008/264, SS154/2009.