Analysts say Rupert missed the mark

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They questioned the motives behind the businessman’s thoughts and what he’d already said in an interview.

Analysts have expressed disfavourable opinions on Johann Rupert’s views of South Africans.

Rupert, speaking at the Chairman’s Conversation interviewed by MSG Afrika’s chairperson Given Mkhari, ruffled feathers with his views insinuating that South Africans had a mentality of being entitled.

The analysts speaking on Power FM about the Iman Rappetti segment on Wednesday were advocate Sipho Mantula, Professor Lucky Mathebula, and analyst Nonofo Galekhutle.

Mathebula found Rupert’s views of South Africans interesting after Patrice Motsepe pledged R3.5 billion towards South Africa’s land reform programme at the Global Citizen concert.

He said this showed an apparent parallel in the thinking of two individuals with financial muscle. Mathebula admitted that Rupert’s comments brought a bit of a reality check to Africans in the continent.

“It is not expected that Johannes Rupert can represent a view that reduces the position of people that were historically advantaged by the economy,” Mathebula said and added the country needed more black billionaires as people like Patrice Motsepe were willing to invest in the economy because they came from it.

“It is arrogant for the richest person [Rupert] to say ‘I will not invest in an economy when I am not trusted’.”

Mantula said it was key to understand political, economic, and structural inequalities that the country adopted since the beginning of apartheid.

“I picked up denial and shifting the goal post from Rupert who claimed that black folk are corrupt. When actually the white and Afrikaner business community benefited from apartheid. One cannot say Africans are expecting handouts.”

Galekhutle added to the cold comments from the panel and said people expected Rupert to provide solutions seeking to equalise the society.

“It’s high time we start treating Africa as a market for Africans first.”

During his interview on Tuesday, Rupert was questioned by Rapetti during the question and answer session on how one 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 that 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.”

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