Businessman Johann Rupert comes under fire for comments made in live interview

Businessman Johann Rupert.
Businessman Johann Rupert.
Image: YouTube

Businessman Johann Rupert has come under fire for his comments during the PowerFM’s chairman’s Conversation with Given Mkhari.

Rupert made several remarks that irked social media users during the interview that was aired on eNCA last night.

Here are some of the controversial comments made by the businessman last night:

He said Afrikaners who had survived the concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War were driven and had not spent their money on frivolous things.

“In a sense the Afrikaaner was downtrodden. They were driven, they studied. They studied like crazy and saved like crazy. They didn’t go and buy BMWs and hang around Taboo and The Sands all the time,” he said to laughter and applause.

Taboo and The Sands are popular night clubs in the Sandton area.

He told PowerFM chairperson Given Mkhari that those who said Nelson Mandela sold out were being disrespectful.

“I hear this narrative that Madiba was a sellout. I mean it’s disrespectful. I don’t see your generation, call me an old toppie. I don’t see your generation going to jail for nearly three decades. No, you’ll miss The Sands.”

He blasted today’s youth saying he has not seen any potential leaders. The businessman who is among the wealthiest in South Africa said he had met Steve Biko and knows that the former Black Consciousness leader would not have been seen at Taboo.

The comments by Rupert irked people on Twitter:

@Cashwell_Phasha tweeted: “Rupert is on Trump racist, he doesn't believe in transformation (bcos when Given mentions empowering blacks he says other races must be included); He thinks if u mention people by race like white u are being racist.

Also incensed by Rupert’s comments was reporter Iman Rappetti.

“Open and Shut case of cognitive dissonance. That's my diagnosis of Johann Rupert. Jerrr."  She wrote on her Twitter account.

Rappetti confronted the luxury goods company, Richemont, owner on his statements.

Rappetti told Rupert that his comments were being interpreted on social media to say that black people need whites to take care of them and that Rupert’s remarks are seen to be racist.

Rupert defended his remarks. “I’ve been accused of a lot of things and luckily for me my generation knows that I am not racist… In the old days when you were against apartheid you were accused of being a communist and now…” Rupert said as he shrugged his shoulders.

"As long as people understand that there is no overnight success. No tenderpreneur. First Eastern Cape people wanted to eat, then KZN people and now Shangaan and Venda, "said Rupert.​

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