The majority shareholder in the Sperrgebiet Diamond Mine (SDM), Harpal Randhawa, has died in a small plane crash in Zimbabwe.
The company’s acting chief officer, Abraham Grobler, confirmed that Randhawa and his son died on 30 September.
According to media reports from Zimbabwe, six other people onboard the Cessna 206 aircraft, owned by RioZim, also died.
They were allegedly en route from Harare to the Murowa diamond mine.
Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chinono, who was a friend of Randhawa, took to X, where he described him as a humble man.
“We became friends visiting each other and also became walking partners, walking on Sundays from Drew to Borrowdale race course. I learned a lot about the business world through him during our walks. He was very generous with life advice and very humble for the wealthy man that he was,” said Chinono.
Randhawa was last in Namibia in August, when he was busy with retrenchments of employees at the mine because the company was struggling to meet financial commitments.
SDM, formerly known as Elizabeth Bay and owned by Namdeb Diamond mining, was taken over by Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM) in 2022, in which Randhawa was a majority shareholder.
Randhawa was the founder of the US$4 billion private equity firm GEM Holdings, which had a big stake in RioZim, a diversified mining company that produced gold and coal and refined nickel and copper in Zimbabwe.