Country managing partner at DLA Piper SA Johannes Gouws. Picture: SUPPLIED
Country managing partner at DLA Piper SA Johannes Gouws. Picture: SUPPLIED

If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?

The company whose management I trust the most.

Which talent would you most like to have?


What was your first job?

I worked as a labourer at a factory in Vereeniging.

If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?


If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

I’d believe more in myself and take more risks.

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?

Probably a Lionel Smit painting that I bought before he became really well known.

If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won $100m, what would you do with it?

I would invest it and go on with my life as usual, but with the luxury of knowing that I could quit any time if I wanted to.

What’s your favourite song?

Probably Radio Ga Ga by Queen because their album The Works was the first one I ever owned.

What is your most treasured possession?

A hunting rifle that I inherited from my father.

On what occasion do you lie?

Perhaps to save someone’s feelings.

What was your last purchase?

A birthday gift for my wife.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My cars.

What travel experience is on your bucket list?

A trip to Alaska.

How much was your first pay cheque and what did you do with it?

I earned R3.50 an hour when I worked part-time at the factory in Vereeniging. I probably used it to buy a piece of cricket equipment. My first pay cheque as a full-time employee was R2,750. I spent it on the things I needed to survive.

What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?

Shares in what was once one of SA’s best construction companies. I thought it had hit rock bottom when I bought the shares, but it turned out that I was wrong.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?


Name a place you’ve been to that lives up to the hype.

Spetses in Greece.

Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?

No. I don’t invest in things I don’t understand.