South Africans have taken to social media to voice their opinion on reports of billionaire Johann Rupert getting a Covid-19 vaccine jab in Switzerland.
According to Swiss publication Tages-Anzieger, Rupert was one of the 12 people who received the vaccine as part of its test from the Hirslanden hospital group in Thurgau, last week.
The Hirslanden Private Hospital Group announced earlier this month in a statement that it had been entrusted by Thurgau, a canton in eastern Switzerland, with the design and operation of vaccination centres, with the first one having opened on 14 January.
“In the canton of Thurgau, vaccinations have been carried out on people at risk in old people’s and nursing homes by mobile vaccination teams since January 4, 2021. At the same time, several vaccination centres are now being set up.
“Due to the limited number of vaccine doses available in Switzerland, when the Frauenfeld vaccination centre goes into operation, people over the age of 75 or people with chronic diseases who have the highest risk of severe Covid-19 will be vaccinated,” said the hospital.
Hirslanden is owned by Mediclinic – which Rupert’s Remgro owns a 45% stake in.
In response, he was quoted as saying by the publication: “It is important to me to set an example for all the employees of my company. My message is: only by vaccinating will we be able to find our way out of this crisis.”
Rupert has been trending on social media, with Swiss politicians voicing their outrage.
@alain_berset @BAG_OFSP_UFSP versagt auch bei der Impfstrategie – nach den “nicht schützenden Masken”, der vorschnellen Aufhebung der Grenzkontrollen & dem fehlenden Testregime für die Altersheime. Jede Woche Verzögerung beim Impfen kostet Menschenleben + Existenzen pic.twitter.com/lLC1jkgLBR
— Thomas Aeschi (@thomas_aeschi) January 21, 2021
ALSO READ: Johann Rupert is now SA’s richest person
Back in South Africa, the reports have divided social media users, with some arguing that they would have done the same if they were as wealthy as Rupert, while others criticised his actions.
These were some of the reactions on social media:
Anyone with Rupert money would have done what Rupert did
— #10 (@TsikiMabala) January 22, 2021
So basically people are mad because Rupert has a private jet and he’s rich? pic.twitter.com/i6ezsWStwT
— Jan Van Potgieter???????? (@SciTheComedist) January 22, 2021
Don’t try to pretend like you wouldn’t have done what Rupert has done if you were that rich ???? pic.twitter.com/o9S47LPaNT
— Matšedi (@VincentMailola) January 22, 2021
People who were fighting for Africans not to be Guinea pigs are complaining that Rupert availed himself to be a Guinea pig in Europe…???? pic.twitter.com/EUXxxU8nSS
— Luzuko ????????⛪???????? (@LuzukoMngqibisa) January 22, 2021
There I was thinking Rupert got the vaccine in Swaziland kanti it’s Switzerland…. pic.twitter.com/CokLwUxkIS
— Nolly-M (@Nolly_Mthombeni) January 22, 2021
I dn’t get why u ppl are shocked that Rupert jumped into his private jet to get a vaccine in Switzerland at a clinic tht his family owns!He is Resident &shareholder in health group.Must he wait for the roll out, when he has access to this? Nami if I had, I would ‘ve done the same
— Kwena Molekwa (@Ruraltarain) January 22, 2021
Anyway, the Swiss are angry at Johann Rupert.
— Tanya Junghans (@tanyajunghans) January 22, 2021
— Ms_Gupta ???????? ❤️ (@African_Spring) January 22, 2021
If I had money like Rupert and influence at Mediclinic I would have done the same pic.twitter.com/gSy8vWnde0
— Gaddafi???????? (@DustSamuel) January 22, 2021
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde