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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
S African mining magnate murdered
Brett Kebble
Kebble sponsored a big arts prize in South Africa
Controversial South African mining magnate Brett Kebble has been shot dead and found in his car in Johannesburg.

Police are investigating whether the shooting of Mr Kebble, 41, was a deliberate targeted killing, as his legal representative believes.

He was well known in South Africa as the sponsor of major arts award as well as for his political connections.

Mr Kebble contributed to the governing ANC's coffers and had business links with the ANC Youth League.

He is also believed to have been a benefactor of ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who is charged with corruption.

Motive

Mr Kebble's body was discovered at the wheel of his car on Tuesday evening in Johannesburg's Melrose suburb, on a bridge crossing the main Johannesburg-Pretoria motorway.

Police said he had been shot "more than once".

Mr Kebble's advocate, Willem Heath, told a local radio station that it looked as though his client had been deliberately murdered.

Police spokesman Chris Wilken said the motive for the killing was uncertain.

"There are two possibilities: Either it was a direct attempt on his life or it was a hijack attempt," Mr Wilken told Reuters news agency. The hijacking of expensive cars is not uncommon in Johannesburg.

Threats

Kebble family spokesman David Barritt said it was impossible to say what the motive for the killing had been, but he confirmed that Brett Kebble had received death threats in the past.

He said there were people who did not like the fact that Mr Kebble had been an outspoken ANC member.

The ANC itself said it was "shocked and saddened" by Mr Kebble's murder.

Brett Kebble followed his father, Roger, into the mining business, becoming the executive director of the firms Randgold and Exploration, JCI and Western Areas.

He resigned from these positions last month, following financial problems.

Mr Kebble admitted last year that he had contributed 500,000 rand (US$90,000) to the ANC, an act which he described as being "for the development of democracy".

He had close dealings with Lembede, the investment arm of the ANC Youth League, and was reported to have provided funds to Mr Zuma.

Critics said that his closeness to the ruling party had led the authorities to turn a blind eye to Mr Kebble's tax affairs.




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