Business mogul John Bredenkamp Dies aged 79

TOP Zimbabwean enterprise tycoon John Bredenkamp has died.

In his youth, he’s famed with captaining the nationwide rugby side before Zimbabwe’s independence and was once reported to have a fortune of US$850 million from his enterprise dealings in arms, tobacco trading and diamond mining.

“It is with a heavy and sad heart that the president of the ZRU announces the sad passing of our former Sables player and captain John Bredenkamp this morning,” the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) said in a statement.

“May his family and friends be comforted during this sad time. The ZRU is at a loss for words on the passing of our former skipper. May his soul rest in everlasting peace.”

Although details of his death were nonetheless sketchy, sources near the family revealed that Bredenkamp passed away in Harare Thursday morning as a result of kidney failure.

Born in Kimberley, South Africa, Bredenkamp moved together with his family to Southern Rhodesia while he was still a toddler. He was educated in Southern Rhodesia at Prince Edward School, the place he featured for the school’s first team rugby side, the Tigers.

Bredenkamp went on to take pleasure in an international rugby union profession captaining Rhodesia which then featured within the Currie Cup in South Africa from 1965 to 1968.

His sporting achievements have been, nevertheless, dwarfed by his success in business as he went on to turn into certainly one of Zimbabwe’s richest individuals.

Bredenkamp reportedly amassed a private fortune of US$870 million from activities corresponding to sanctions-busting on behalf of the Rhodesian regime, tobacco buying and selling, arms sales, and diamond mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He was the founding father of Casalee Group of companies, named after his two daughters Caron and Sara, and his spouse Lee.

Primarily a leaf tobacco firm; it grew to be the fifth-biggest tobacco merchant on the earth before he offered it to Universal Leaf Tobacco in 1993. He made the 1996 listing of Great Britain’s richest people at number 76. His fortune then was pegged at several hundred millions.

Casalee’s industrial arm fronted an enormous arms dealing operation which was active in many of the world’s trouble spots.

Bredenkamp was named in a 2002 United Nations report as a key arms dealer who made hundreds of thousands of {dollars} from illegally exploiting natural resources within the Democratic Republic of Congo following a military intervention by Zimbabwe to cease a rebel-led overthrow of the late former president Laurent Desire Kabila.

Regardless of his former Rhodesian ties, Bredenkamp gained considerable notoriety attributable to his links with the political and financial affairs of Zimbabwe 

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