Chairman of Remgro and Richemont Johann Rupert defended himself against racism accusations in an interview with businessman Given Mkhari on Tuesday in the annual Power FM Chairman’s Interview.
Radio personality Iman Rappetti stood up during the question-and-answer session and asked Rupert how he would close the divide between his opinion of black people being consumers and splurgers and white people being the saviours of these black people.
Rappetti further made Rupert aware of the comments about him there were on social media, with some saying he was “out of touch”, while others said he was “racist”.
Towards the end of part one of the interview, Rupert had said the early “downtrodden” generation of Afrikaners from which he was descended were “driven” and had raised themselves up by “studying like crazy and saving like crazy”.
“They didn’t go and buy BMWs and hang around at Taboo and The Sands all the time, okay?”
But Rupert said he had been misquoted on his comments about BMWs and Taboo.
“I didn’t say black people, I said people. Don’t you think white people splurge?
“What I mean is that people in my time did not do it. If people want to take it personally they have to think about what their parents gave up, and I’m saying it about everyone.
“In fact, people in the United States are doing it more. Sorry if it came across as racist, it’s not, it’s philosophy.
“You can’t eat now and pay later.”
Rupert further said though he had been accused of being so many things by the public, he was grateful that no one had ever called him that to his face in public or private.
Rupert was highly criticised by South Africans on social media for, among other things, being “out of touch” with reality and allegedly being racist.
Even EFF leader Julius Malema thanked Rappetti for pointing out the comments made about Rupert on social media.
Thank you @imanrappetti
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) December 4, 2018
For @SiyaMiti, Rupert’s interview proved that “there is no correlation between intellect and wealth; tribal slurs, tribal stereotypes, racial stereotypes. You would think as someone who rarely gives interviews would give a quality interview on the rare occasion.”
These were some of the other reactions on social media:
“These Vhenda boys in red berets”
“All they know is Taboo, Sans, and BMWs”
“I have black friends”
“I’m not a racist”
– this is the cream of our private sector. This is what they think of us. Let that sink in.
— Yixing’s Cat (@LisaLamla) December 4, 2018
— Iman Rappetti (@imanrappetti) December 4, 2018
— Just Alfie ???? (@Alfie_Mohla) December 4, 2018
This man is just admitting that his only fear is @EFFSouthAfrica. He doesn’t fear the ANC at all.
He has mentioned the “your friends in red” from the beginning.
— BraMoremzee (@morembula) December 4, 2018
Imagine being so comfortable saying all of this on national TV!!! Can’t imagine what is said behind closed doors…and truth is I really don’t think he saw anything wrong with his utterances #RupertOnPOWER
— Thando Thabooty (@Thando_Thabethe) December 4, 2018
Oh god. I can’t take any more of this arrogant, insufferable bullfrog. #RupertONPOWER
— Daniel Berger (@Daniel_I_Berger) December 4, 2018
The casualness in which racial terms are bandied about in this interview, coupled with a slight reversioning of history & the hard questions not being asked (eg. How much land he owns? What he thinks a fair social compact would be for SA? – All boggles my mind #RupertOnPOWER
— Lerato Mbele-Roberts (@Mbele_Roberts) December 4, 2018
It’s not about much. It’s about a strategy. It’s about understanding of what got us divided in the first place. Rupert saying “You Shangaans, Darkies, Vendas” with Given sitting there got me! ANC got these guys to flourish and here we are! EFF grow up & regroup. #RupertOnPOWER
— Portia Gumede (@portiagumedesa) December 4, 2018
— Namane ya Tholo (@rabi_mangwegape) December 4, 2018
Here is a final thought:
Any white person who feels the need to tell you about his black friend Jabu or Mandla is RACIST. A clear cut RACIST.
— Vusi Thembekwayo (@VusiThembekwayo) December 4, 2018
It is Black people like you given @MkhariGiven who laugh when White people are being racist. You should’ve call Johanne to order about his racist remarks.
We’re being insulted and all you do is laugh ????#RupertOnPOWER
— I’m Mmapula (@Mmaps_ThePro) December 4, 2018