South Africa 13.9.2017 04:09 pm

Johann Rupert says ‘radical economic transformation’ is no more than ‘theft’

South African businessman and Chairman of Remgro, Johann Rupert speaks at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa on 15 October 2008. (Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden)

South African businessman and Chairman of Remgro, Johann Rupert speaks at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa on 15 October 2008. (Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden)

The chairman of investment giant Remgro says he believes the leaked Gupta emails are real.

SA billionaire businessman Johann Rupert says “radical economic transformation”, as promulgated by President Jacob Zuma and his supporters in the ANC, is no more than theft, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

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

It emerged from the ANC’s 5th policy conference in June that nine of 11 commissions resolved that the governing party would now use the phrase “monopoly capital”, and no longer “white monopoly capital”. However, Zuma and some of his supporters have continued to use the phrase.

The chairman of Remgro said British public relations firm Bell Pottinger, which was expelled from the UK’s PR trade body last week, were hired by the controversial Gupta family to “deflect attention from the public anger against what’s happening to the state’s finances”.

The Public Relations and Communications Associations (PRCA) found that the UK-based spin doctors’ economic emancipation campaign in South Africa on behalf of Gupta-owned Oakbay Capital was “likely to inflame racial discord” in the country.

Bell Pottinger formerly represented Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC Schaffhausen timepieces.

Rupert and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan are believed to be one of targets of the divisive campaign on social media.

Commenting on the leaked Gupta emails scandal – which have exposed the extent of state capture by the Guptas and their influence over Zuma, officials at state-owned entities and other politicians in the governing party – Rupert said he believed the emails were real.

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

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