Did anyone see the 4 corners show last night on the drama with JCI,kimberly diamonds,sons of gwalia,laverton gold & the 2 directors robbing JCI blind namely brett kebble(dead) & his partner in crime john stratton,all to do with a south african mining company JCI,the repeat is shown tonight for those that missed it, at 11.30 pm.
As i say about these overseas operations,overseas is over the seas...nothing like sticking to the miners in your own country..tb
Reporter: Andrew Fowler
One spring evening in 2005, Brett Kebble, a young mining magnate who had lived a life in the fast lane, drove off to a dinner appointment in the suburbs of Johannesburg. On the way he stopped and opened his window, inexplicably in the crime-ridden city, and was shot seven times at close range.
Brett Kebble’s killing ignited a political and business scandal. It soon emerged that Kebble had been scamming investors for years. He had specialised in luring people into doomed ventures - like a clapped-out gold mine deep in the Sumatran jungle. He had even brought a venerable South African mining house to its knees.
What also emerged were stunning allegations that Kebble had been involved in paying bribes of up to US$1 million to South Africa's police chief and Interpol boss Jackie Selebi.
Four Corners unravels the amazing story of the Kebble empire's rise and fall – and the key role of an Australian businessman who is now fighting extradition to South Africa.
"Bad Company"… reported by Andrew Fowler and produced by Wayne Harley, on Four Corners 8.30 pm, Monday 2 June on ABC1.
This program will be repeated about 11.35 pm Tuesday 3 June; also on ABC2 at 8 am Tuesday.
Who is john stratton?
"He was the tungsten tip of the drill bit, and Kebble was the great, flabby weight behind it." That's how one Brett Kebble associate who dealt with John Stratton described the man who was regarded as Kebble's right-hand man and the nearest thing the mining magnate had to a friend.
Now indications are that Stratton could join Glenn Agliotti as a co-accused in Kebble's murder -- if the Scorpions can secure his return to South Africa from Australia, that is.
It won't be easy. Firstly, he is now 72 years old and reported to be very ill, suffering from cancer. Secondly, according to a number of sources, Stratton liked to boast that he worked with half a dozen Western intelligence agencies.
"He likes to see himself as James Bond. I am not sure if his nickname, Bangles, refers to handcuffs or what," said one JCI insider, who asked not to be named. A number of sources have told the Mail & Guardian that Stratton was not averse to issuing direct threats of harm.
Stratton was brought into Kebble's JCI at an early stage -- he became a director in 1998 -- and rose to be the most powerful figure in the group besides Kebble himself.
"His office had an inter-leading door to Brett's and in would float this crow, this wattled crane," said one source, referring to Stratton's skinny and aging appearance. "There was a list of who had to get paid every month, no matter how dire the [financial] situation, and Stratton was always on it. At least R500 000 per month to my knowledge," said the same insider.
Stratton, described as having "extraordinary wealth" also allegedly took a slice of both sides of every big deal. He has certainly loomed large in the forensic audit investigation into the alienation of assets from JCI and sister company Randgold & Exploration, with a number of suspect share transactions involving companies he is suspected of controlling.
But another source said: "Stratton was very clever; was always the one who drew up agreements, but someone else always signed, he hardly ever put pen to paper."
His official profile describes him as "a director of various Australian companies" with 40 years of experience in the resource sector, who had managed joint venture operations in the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the United States, Mauritius and India.
Stratton was also central to the Rawas affair, in which Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD), then under the sway of Brett's father, Roger, bought an exhausted gold mine in Sumatra for R122-million from a company called Laverton Gold.
It turned out that Laverton had been on the verge of liquidation, that JCI was one of its creditors (to the tune of $11-million) and that Roger Kebble and Stratton were on the Laverton board. The deal bailed out JCI to the detriment of DRD and was the subject of protracted and unfinished legal proceedings.
Stratton is seen by others who were inside the JCI group at the time as having helped Brett Kebble take his financial schemes to the next level. His stepdaughter and her husband, a chartered accountant, worked at JCI. Both, according to a source who knows them, were "incredibly well paid for what they were doing". This couple have since gone back to Australia. Stratton is described by just about everyone connected to JCI as "frightening" and as the main enforcer. Also, according to one insider, he "saw himself as a master strategist".
It seems he ran much of the intelligence and dirty-tricks operation, particularly with regard to the Kebbles' battle with DRD after it was taken over by Mark Wellesley-Wood.
He also seems to have managed Agliotti's role. "I didn't know much about Agliotti, except that he was one of John's people," said one former employee.
Stratton functioned as Kebble's strategic adviser, but appeared to be most closely associated with the private intelligence and security network Kebble gathered around him and was notably close to Agliotti and later to Kebble security adviser Clinton Nassif.
"At his house there was this amazing security apparatus," said one source, describing a room full of monitoring screens.
Stratton was allegedly prominent in securing documentation following Kebble's murder. He was also allegedly a frequent visitor to Nassif's security-company offices in the months after the murder and, according to one source, made it his business to monitor the progress of the investigation.
At the time of the murder, Stratton issued a statement saying: "We are all in deep shock. Brett was one of my closest friends and I have the greatest respect for him as a visionary whose contribution to black empowerment in South Africa is enormous."