The late Benjamin Mophatlane, at the time of his death Chief Executive Officer of JSE-listed Business Connexion, laid bare flaws in the view that black entrepreneurs could only make it through government handouts in the form of lucrative tenders or preferential procurement. Without connections that mattered in the ‘right’ places, he teamed up with his twin brother, Isaac, to establish a giant that is now the benchmark for blacks aspiring to invest in the information technology sector.
Tebogo Klaas, who served with Mophatlane on the Black IT Forum, lauded his relentless drive to accomplish his goals. “As the engine behind the Business Connexion, he made a meaningful connection to the sector,” he said.
“He embodied the qualities and character that we need to encourage in the IT sector.”
After starting Business Connection from scratch in 1996, Mophatlane moved from shop to shop, in the company of Isaac, toiling to convince consumers that their products were real value for money. In 2001, it merged with Seattle Solutions. In 2004, after a merger with Compare Africa, Business Connection was branded Business Connexion.
With 6000 employees, Business Connexion provides IT products and solutions. The company has presence across Africa, in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Kingdom.
Mophatlane left behind his wife, Abeena Sah, with three kids and brother, Isaac. It is a pity that he will never live to see the conclusion of a Telkom SA’s R2.67 billion cash offer takeover bid for Business Connexion.
Rest in peace gentle genius!