Ferdinand Lips, renowned gold advocate and beloved friend of GATA, dies

Section:

By Bill Murphy, Chairman
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Thursday, September 29, 2005

The following story is about GATA's hero, Brett Kebble. I cannot
tell you how emotional his murder is for us.

GATA exists largely because this man believed in us enough to
contribute $50,000 just days after our founding in January 1999.
Brett then was completing a course of study at the prestigious
Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

There will be more to come down the road about Brett. He tentatively
had been scheduled as a speaker at GATA's Gold Rush 21 conference in
the Yukon Territory last month but was forced to cancel at the last
minute because of his financial difficulties.

Not only did Brett help bring GATA into existence, he helped
underwrite the GATA African Gold Summit in Durban, South Africa in
May 2001. I told Brett, "GATA needs a bit of dough here, like 20
grand! "Brett replied: "Done!" And it was, and the conference was a
success.

This guy was remarkable beyond what Planet Wall Street could ever
fathom. He combined market acumen, social conscience, South African
patriotism, and devotion to democracy. He became a hero for the poor
people in the gold-producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

By the way, those suffering people are among those GATA is trying to
help by exposing the duplicitous and devastating policies of the
U.S. government.

Before the U.S. financial market debacle occurs, this is the way
MIDAS sees it: If there is ever a congressional investigation of the
markets and I get a chance to be eard, I will make Joe McCarthy look
like Little Lord Fauntleroy when explaining what has happened.

***

Precocious Tycoon Rattled Mining

By David Gleason
Business Day, South Africa
Thursday, September 29, 2005

JOHANNESBURG -- An extraordinary man has been taken from us -- by
what was clearly not a casual murder but an assassination intended
to send a clear and brutal message.

I first met Brett Kebble in late 1977 when I was appointed a manager
at Vaal Reefs gold mine. He was 13 years old then
and startled me by engaging me in conversation about the political
economy. A year later, he told me he would join the National Party.
When I expressed reservations, his response was that Afrikaners had
to be engaged, and the only way to do it was from within.

Engagement was among Kebble's most prominent driving features. He
engaged and embraced a wide range of activities. A lawyer first,
Kebble graduated from the University of Cape Town and was snapped up
by law firm Mallinicks, where he quickly upset one of the partners
but established himself as a smart, unusually capable, commercial
lawyer.

His father, Roger, regarded by some as among South Africa's most
talented mining men, parlayed the family fortune into ownership of
the old and marginal Rand Leases gold mine on the West Rand. From a
struggling start, the mine's resurgence was abruptly halted when a
small earthquake buckled its operating shaft.

That was when Kebble, who approached neighbour Durban Deep for help
and was turned away, conceived the idea of launching a corporate
assault on Rand Mines, one of the oldest mining houses. Given the
predominance of the houses and their imperious place at the top of
the corporate ladder, this was an almost unthinkable proposition. It
was certainly breathtaking.

Marshalling the family resources, and with the active involvement of
others, notably Peter Flack, who was no stranger to corporate
internecine warfare, the group persuaded Mercury Asset Management's
Julian Baring to get on board. At the time, Baring ran Mercury's
powerful general mining fund and held something approaching 30% of
Rand Mines' equity.

The battle for Rand Mines was short, sharp and entirely successful.
It was the first time the mining establishment had been challenged --
and beaten -- on its own territory. Among those who Rand Mines
pushed into the front line of its defense was Mark Bristow, now CE
of Randgold Resources and among Kebble's bitterest critics.

Randgold was in the right place at the right time when Gencor, then
under Brian Gilbertson, the architect of its translation into
Billiton and later BHP Billiton, decided to shed some of its least
profitable mines -- notably Blyvooruitzicht, Buffelsfontein, and
Stilfontein.

With those mines tucked into the group, Kebble turned his attention
to South Africa's changing fortunes and to the nascent movement we
now call black economic empowerment.

Responding to Anglo-American's decision to unbundle its ownership of
JCI in favour of black ownership, Kebble cobbled together an
empowerment consortium and twinned himself with former Robben
Islander Mzi Khumalo.

After an agonizingly long struggle with a group led by Cyril
Ramaphosa -- during which JCI's share price climbed to levels never
again seen -- Khumalo and Kebble triumphed.

But the price was high, not only in money terms. When Khumalo
transgressed corporate governance norms inside the house, a long-
simmering antagonism between the two men burst into a conflagration
that cost Khumalo his chairmanship and left the relationship in
permanent animus.

There were mistakes along the way. Kebble misread the course of the
gold price -- not once but twice. And he came to regret deeply the
decision to share ownership of the South Deep project with Canada-
based Placer Dome.

Passionately committed to South Africa, Kebble long held the view
that the undue enrichment of the new elitists was an extravagance it
could not afford and that the only way forward was to enlist the
hopes and aspirations of the ruling party's vast grassroots support
base.

Neglect of this vital constituency, he believed, would bring
radicalism and ruin in its wake. It was this that drove him to
become something of a doyen of black empowerment advocates.

Many people, colleagues and peers, disliked him. Some respected his
undoubted cleverness. Very few got close to him. He touched them
all.

He was devoted to his wife Ingrid and his four children, and his
murder leaves a hole not only in their lives but in those of his
father, mother, Julie, and his brother, Guy, and, in a wider
context, in South Africa's too.

I fear what this event may portend.

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----------------------------------------------------

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