4) Koos Bekker – $2.3 Billion
Koos Bekker – South African media tycoon stepped down as CEO of media giant – Naspers in February 2014. His decision did not stop Naspers’ stock from rising to double digits (Naspers is now the biggest public company in Africa). He had run the Cape Town-based company since 1997. Bekker intends to return as chairman of Naspers board in April 2015 according to a company statement. He transformed the publishing outfit into a new media powerhouse, with investments in China, India, Russia and elsewhere, including stakes in China’s leading Internet and instant messaging company: Tencent Holdings (run by Chinese billionaire Ma Huateng), Russian Internet giant – Mail.ru and Brazilian magazine publisher – Abril.
During his tenure, Johann Bekker engineered the rise in the market capitalization of Naspers from about $600 million to 45 billion dollars, while drawing no salary, bonuses, or benefits. He was compensated via stock option grants whose values increased over time. He was a founding director of African mobile telecoms firm – MTN. His nearly 600 acres Babylonstoren estate in South Africa’s Western Cape, feature architecture dating back to 1690: a farm, an orchard, a vineyard, a 14-room hotel and a restaurant.
3) Chistoffel Wiese – $6.3 Billion
Retail tycoon Christoffel Wiese continues to grow his wealth. In September 2014, he announced plans to swap his minority stake in information technology company – DigiCore for a stake in ConvergeNet, a South African Technology business that is undergoing restructuring into a diversified holding company.
Wiese’s other investments include 15% stake in Shoprite Holdings, which controls supermarkets, furniture stores and fast food outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, and controlling interest in Pepkor, a private clothing and footwear giant with almost 32,000 employees. He also owns shares in private equity firm – Brait, industrial production company – Invicta Holdings and mining-sector investor – Pallinghurst.
He became 1.6 billion dollars richer since 2013 as a result of higher stock prices for most of his holdings and the growth at Pepkor.