Koos Bekker was born in Potchefstroom, South Africa on 14 December 1952. Bekker received his school education from Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg and completed degrees from Stellenbosch University in Law and Literature and Wits University in Law. During his studies in Stellenbosch he was a hostel boarder of Eendrag Manskoshuis.
After a few years in advertising he read an MBA degree at Columbia Business School, graduating in 1984. As a result of a project paper, he, and a few young colleagues founded one of the first two pay television services outside the US. M-Net and its sister companies like Multichoice eventually expanded to 48 countries across Africa. In the 1990s, he was a founding Director of mobile communication company MTN. In 1997 Bekker became CEO of Naspers, one of the initial Investors in the M-Net/Multichoice group. Naspers bought out the other shareholders. During his tenure, the market capitalization of Naspers grew from about $1.2 billion to $45 billion. His compensation package was unusual in that for fifteen years as CEO he earned no salary, bonus or perks. He was compensated solely via stock option grants that vested over time.