June 13 2008 at 09:33AM
By Alex Eliseev
Prominent businessman Derek Roux, due to be married on Wednesday, was shot dead the night before he could take his vows.
Roux, who spent his life building companies before retiring two years ago, had climbed to the top of one of the world's biggest - Barloworld.
After several years of working in Dubai, and becoming a world-renowned consultant, Roux returned to SA to build himself a house in Joburg's horse country: Chartwell North. He managed the project himself, and moved in last month.
But hours before he was to marry his fiancee, Wendy Tee, a gang of robbers destroyed his dream by breaking into his home on Tuesday night.
The intruders burst in at around 9pm. The details of how Roux and Tee confronted the gang are unclear. Roux was shot in the head and Tee in the shoulder.
The robbers fled, and Tee called for help.
Paramedics from Netcare 911 stabilised Tee, rushing her off to hospital. But Roux was declared dead.
Roux's close friend and business associate for 20 years, Richard Forrest, said the timing of the attack had been devastating.
Roux had started up a consulting company in the early 1980s to help companies to deal with inventories and working capital, he said.
Together with Forrest he had started another company, which was sold to Barloworld in 2001.
Roux was the chief executive officer of Barloworld's Optimus International, until Forrest took over in 2005.
"He spoke all over the world and was extremely passionate and incredibly optimistic," Forrest said.
"He lived in a world of great dreams. If one fell over, he'd get another one in place."
By 2000, the company Roux started in 1983 had more than 300 high-profile clients in SA, Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada and the US, an online profile reveals.
Back in SA, Roux "spent his time building his house", Forrest told The Star from the UK.
"He was passionate about sport and he loved cars."
Roux's sister, Gail Howes, confirmed the couple were due to have an intimate wedding ceremony on Wednesday, which would have been followed by a big bash at the house later.
"He was such a gentle person," she said. "It's such a waste of a life."
This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on June 13, 2008