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Father of SA tycoon dies

Published Jun 25, 2007

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The father of mining magnate and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe died at his home in Sandton on Saturday.

Chief Augustine Butana Chaane Motsepe, 92, led his tribe, Bakgatla-Ba-Mmakau, in successful protests to force a Canadian company, Leuka Minerals, to pay royalties on vanadium being mined on the tribe's land. He was seen as the backbone of one of South Africa's most prominent families of achievers.

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In the early days Motsepe Snr ran shopping centres in North West.

Among his children are daughter Bridgette Radebe, a mining executive married to Transport Minister Jeff Radebe; son Patrice, said to be South Africa's richest black man; and daughter Dr Tshepo Motsepe, married to tycoon and ANC guru Cyril Ramaphosa.

Motsepe Snr helped found the Nafcoc Business Chamber and was a teacher by profession. He is survived by seven children and eight grandchildren. His wife, Key - who was half Scottish - died in 2004.

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A Motsepe family spokesperson Gabriel Mokgoko said messages of support had been pouring in from around the country.

"Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later stage, but he will be buried next to his wife."

A critic of Bantu education, Motsepe snr sent his children to a Catholic school in Aliwal North so they could have a better education and could become better achievers than him. His children did just that.

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In spite of his son owning current Premier League champions Mamelodi Sundowns, it was no secret that Motsepe snr was an ardent follower and the oldest member of arch-rivals Orlando Pirates. He was born in Mmakau on June 18 1915.

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