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Johann Rupert calls Zuma’s policy ‘theft’

Richemont chairman says president and allies are ‘raiding the state’s coffers’.

South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert said “radical economic transformation,” the policy championed by the country’s President Jacob Zuma to reduce racial inequality, is no more than theft.

“Radical economic transformation is just a code word for theft,” Rupert said on the sidelines of Richemont’s annual general meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. “That’s what’s happening there. They’re raiding the state’s coffers. And it’s public knowledge.”

South Africa’s former graft ombudsman alleged in a November report that Zuma allowed members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are in business with his son, to influence cabinet appointments and the award of state contracts. And a study released in March by a team of academics concluded that Zuma, the Guptas and their allies had orchestrated “a silent coup,” securing control over key positions in the state, enabling them to allegedly steal billions of rand. Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing.

A trove of leaked emails dubbed the ‘Gupta Leaks’ have formed the basis for a raft of stories by South African media that have alleged corruption linked to the Guptas and government officials. 

Read: Leaked emails heap more pressure on Zuma

Zuma’s spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said he was in a meeting when called for comment.

Bell Pottinger, the UK public-relations firm founded by an adviser to Margaret Thatcher lost clients and staff over its controversial work for the Gupta family in South Africa and was expelled from the UK’s PR trade body last week. It was slammed for stoking racial tensions by mounting a campaign targeting so-called white monopoly capital, and filed for administration on Tuesday. Its targets included Rupert, who has a net worth of $8.2 billion.

Read: Bell Pottinger dumped by PR association, HSBC, over SA campaign

“They were hired to deflect attention from the public anger against what’s happening to the state’s finances,” said Rupert. “That was their role.”

Final term

Bell Pottinger was formerly the public relations company for Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewelry and IWC Schaffhausen timepieces.

Zuma’s second and final term as president is due to end in 2019, but his political clout is waning as he prepares to relinquish the leadership of the ANC in December and, depending on who replaces him, he could be forced to step down early. The party’s new leader will also be its presidential candidate in the next elections.

Read: Who’s who guide to the top contenders to lead the ANC

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a former labour union leader who helped draft the nation’s first democratic constitution and made a fortune in business, is favoured by many investors. His main rival is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former chairwoman of the African Union Commission and Zuma’s ex-wife.

On the campaign trail, Ramaphosa, 64, has emphasised the need for inclusive economic growth, while Dlamini-Zuma, 68, has echoed Zuma’s calls for “radical economic transformation” to address racially based income disparities that date back to white-minority rule. Zuma and his allies in government have proposed expropriating white-owned farmland without compensation and boosting the proportion of mining assets that must by law be owned by black South Africans.

“When all those leaks came out, all those emails, you can’t deny stuff,” said Rupert. “Nobody’s ever denied the veracity of the Gupta leaks.”

© 2017 Bloomberg

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Eish!!! Donate $1 billion to the people of SA as gesture of goodwill!!!

His employees, suppliers and SARS have earned way more than that over the lifetime of Richemont/Remgro etc. The dividends earned are a fraction of the final total – if you think they’re so great, buy some shares, they’re available to anyone.

Mr Rupert, your hospitals (Mediclinic SA) are the most profitable hospitals in the world. You know that the South African investment returns are 4 times higher than the returns on swiss hospitals. You have robbed all south african medical aid members who suffer under ever increasing medical aid rates. Worse, many people can no longer afford these rates and sit with no medical aid. The high returns demanded by the mediclinic before investing also meant that the former springbok cricket captain had to go to India for treatment. Mediclinic wont buy these machines as they dont make enough money. Sure the guptas are bad but people in glass houses….

Why must he donate funds to the people of SA when the government and its accolytes have raided the fiscus for their own needs and have said “screw the poor” they only have relevance every 5 years

make that $2billion!!!

If he donates that money to SA it will go to…SARS. Guess what will happen next to the money! Offshore to Zuma and Guptas accounts.

And exactly which body/organization is supposed to handle such a donation in a way that it actually reaches “the people” and not the thieving ANC?

Why should he? The lazy people of SA must stop worrying about other peoples money. Go make your own.

I think the advocates for RET in this format consider it entirely justified. Call it a restoration for past injustices, leveling the playing field, uplifting of the downtrodden, a socialist approach to managing the state resources, the spoils of war, the prize for political supremacy, or a proud refusal to accept the shackles of life. Call it what you will, but it is common low-life crooking, plain and simple.

Yes Mr Rupert, we all know that it is theft but why then do you continue to enable this theft by paying income tax and VAT?

Millions of South Africans owe a big thank you to the Rupert family. From those that had faith in his father and backed him with Rembrandt, to those that retired comfortably because part of their retirement fund was invested in Rupert companies. Those that build their own retirement funds using Rupert companies are also grateful. They are not a burden on the state. The 500 odd students that he funds at university each year are grateful, and so are the charities that receive his R30million salary each year.
In short thanks Anton and Johan.

I feel sorry for people having government employee pensions funds. Those funds will now be used to bail out SAA, PetroSA, Transnet, Eskom, etc. Guess what Next year these entities will need ANOTHER bail out! Where oh where will government find the money now for ANOTHER bail out? I know! Pensions funds! 🙂 and so on and so on…until no more pensions funds…eish! Now what?

They worked hard, very hard no question about that…but in a ” privilege ” environment. Don’t tell me they didn’t negotiate with the NP government for special favors and gifts in turn for kickbacks. I’m also sure they don’t just give donations because they have extra money lying around…..you should know that this is a tax thing. ( tax deductible )

Pathetic…………..at least try to justify this sucked out on thin air comment.

Chev, easier said than done to have a “tax problem” like Mr Rupert, it requires risk, hard work, savvy and a value add, which he has put in and achieved, unlike the thieves he is having a go at!
The Ruperts were never nearly as “untouchable” as the Zupta clan, so trying to draw a comparison about a priviledged environment is a no go!!!

Since 1994 ,without the NP ‘help’remgro has made more money than pre 1994 without getting handouts or stealing like some of our current Rich brigade .Zuma,s contribution to the economy is minus billions .Rupert,s contribution is plus billions .But i guess you cannot do maths ,so you wont understand any of it

@pacaratac

A bit of history. Google broederbond and Ruperts and vOlkskas bank and you’ll have proof that they were in bed with the NP and enjoying special privileges.

There were black businessmen (pre-1960) that has money; but could not own land and businesses in “WHITE” areas. Now if this is not proof; then I don’t know what. Therefore be compassionate to those that are poor. Your empire is built on mega special privileges.

Thank you Muks, I did not know how to respond to pacaratac, eala and others. They are blindly denying that whites and particularly the white elite did not benefit from apartheid.

Mr Rupert is not afraid to tell it like it is… more should follow his example!

The Ruptas of the apartheid era should rather keep a low profile like the Oppenheimers.

More harm gets done when good men do nothing.

He has been keeping a low profile, but I think in the end it gets to you, especially when you can just see it all being peed out against the wall.

I agree 100% with you pwgg and Dr Gonzo ( it doesn’t matter how the Rupert’s made their money.I don’t have anything against Rupert but facts are facts ) I have respect for him standing up against Zuma and kie.

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