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South African Centimillionaire Abe Krok Dies

Former Sundowns President Abe Krok (on the extreme right) with Patrice Motsepe (second on the left)


South African gambling tycoon and one of the country’s richest men, Abe Krok, is dead.

Krok, along with his identical twin brother Solly Krok, made his first fortune selling skin-lightening creams during the apartheid era. He subsequently invested his fortune in building luxury resorts and casinos and went on to found some of South Africa’s most prestigious leisure properties, including Gold Reef Resorts Limited, The Golden Horse Casino and Mykonos Casino. In 2011, he merged his Gold Reef holdings with SABMiller’s Tsogo Sun unit in a $2.23 billion all-share deal, creating one of the largest casino groups in Africa. As at the time of his death on Monday, Krok, 82, who had battled with dementia and Parkinson’s disease over the past few years, had a net worth of at least $200 million, held mostly in shares of Tsogo sun. He also owned golf estate developments across South Africa.

Krok was also a passionate soccer fan. He was a one-time owner of South African football club Mamelodi Sundowns before it was sold to South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. Until his death, he was chairman of the board of Mamelodi Sundowns. He was also a founding member of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.

Conflict abounded in Krok’s life. In his later years, his wife and his children from previous marriages battled over control of the tycoon’s fortune. The deep-rooted cynicism between his children and his wife is believed to have affected the millionaire’s health.

Commenting on Krok’s death, Patrice Motsepe said in a statement: “Abe Krok was a man of integrity who made a unique contribution to Mamelodi Sundowns and to South African football.”

Krok was laid to rest Tuesday in Johannesburg.

[This article was translated from Hebrew.]


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