JOHANNESBURG – Billionaire Johann Rupert took to Twitter to apologise for offending South Africans with his comments on Chairman’s Conversations which was hosted by PowerFM chairman Given Mkhari. Rupert apologised on Wednesday night in reply to a tweet challenging some of his remarks to Mkhari.
Rupert had been widely criticised for a number of controversial statements he made during the interview, including saying that his generation “didn’t go and buy BMWs and hang around at Taboo and The Sands all the time, okay?”
Quizzed on allegations that his family were beneficiaries of apartheid and a central figure in white monopoly capital the chairman of Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont and the SA-based Remgro group grew visibly agitated.
“Where does this story come from? We never did business with the (apartheid) government. If my father had emigrated, the shareholders would have done a lot better. We were boycotted oversees because of South Africa, so the choice is to leave or stay. We could have taken the money out of the country, bought boats, whatever, but we did a series of partnerships,” Rupert replied.
He also insisted on referring to black people as “blacks”, despite Mkhari’s repeated attempts to correct him.
The storm over Rupert’s comments raged throughout the day on Wednesday.