Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
5 Dec 2018
7:03 am

I’m not racist, says Johann Rupert

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

The businessman says he did not mean to say only 'blacks' splurge on BMWs and go to Taboo, but had meant the modern generation in general.


Chairman of Remgro and Richemont Johann Rupert defended himself against racism accusations in an interview with businessman Given Mkhari on Tuesday in the annual Power FM Chairman’s Interview.

Radio personality Iman Rappetti stood up during the question-and-answer session and asked Rupert how he would close the divide between his opinion of black people being consumers and splurgers and white people being the saviours of these black people.

READ MORE: Johann Rupert mocks ‘blacks’ who buy BMWs and go to Taboo instead of saving

Rappetti further made Rupert aware of the comments about him there 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.

“You can’t eat now and pay later.”

Rupert further said though he had been accused of being so many things by the public, he was grateful that no one had ever called him that to his face in public or private.

Rupert was highly criticised by South Africans on social media for, among other things, being “out of touch” with reality and allegedly being racist.

Even EFF leader Julius Malema thanked Rappetti for pointing out the comments made about Rupert on social media.

For @SiyaMiti, Rupert’s interview proved that “there is no correlation between intellect and wealth; tribal slurs, tribal stereotypes, racial stereotypes. You would think as someone who rarely gives interviews would give a quality interview on the rare occasion.”

These were some of the other reactions on social media: