Johan de Korte
Every now and then a person who has a significant impact on his generation lives amongst us and influences a large group of people. Johan was this person in the Southern African Coal industry.
Johan was extremely knowledgeable about Coal processing but was also one of the most humble, down to earth, helpful, and straight up guys you could ever encounter.
When Johan was working for Anglo Coal, he mentored a lot of young metallurgists who, today are some of our most respected leaders in the industry. A true leader is someone who manages to train, guide, inspire and excite without having to raise his voice or get excited. That was Johan, everyone who he taught and mentored talk about him with love and respect.
Johan spent the last years of his Career at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Johan, could have earned a lot of money working as a consultant but that was not Johan, he wanted to do the best for the future of Coal and South Africa and add value to the broadest way he could.
Despite being globally recognised as a leader in Coal processing, Johan took the time to call you on your birthday, he never got angry, he never spread rumours or spoke badly about anyone. He was always very fair and told it like it was, Johan never got sidetracked by having to push a company’s product, he was not influenced by money or working for a commercial company’s agenda, that suited him, he could, and did always tell the truth, as he saw it.
This short description of his life is so pale and washed out, like a water colour painting, Johan was not this, he was a rich, deep, lasting oil painting, I think of him as Monet’s water lilies, timeless, calm, beautiful.
Always he taught guided and helped he will be missed and remembered by a lot of us in the Coal industry. Rest in peace Johan, we are grateful for the time you shared with every one of us. We miss you already, but we will not forget, you touched us deeply.
Johan was involved with the Southern African Coal processing Society for over 27 years in many roles from Chairman to handling all the technical papers and arranging the technical sessions at our Coal conferences.