Johann Rupert On father’s Ties With Afrikaner Broederbond

The chairman of the luxury group Richemont and South Africa's billionaire, Mr Johann Rupert. PICTURE: New York Times

JOHANNESBURG: Rupert insists he’s never been a part of a secret society which seeks to disenfranchise the majority of South Africans.

The renowned South African is in conversation with MSG Afrika Group chairman Given Mkhari for the 2018 Rupert on Johannesburg-based talk radio’s POWER edition of the Chairman’s Conversation.

He admits that his father, Anton Rupert was, however, a part of the Broederbond, a secret, an exclusively male and Afrikaner organisation in South Africa dedicated to the advancement of Afrikaner interests.

“There used to be the Broederbond. My father was a member until ’48 I think. I don’t know, he never really discussed it. Then he felt things were going off the rails. He felt uncomfortable being a part of the secret organisation,” Rupert details.

“I have never been a member of a secret organisation. I get concerned about the necessity of secrecy, so there is no organisation. Are you kidding me?

“Surely what I’ve tried to do in my life belies the fact that we want to keep the darkies down. Surely if you look at how I have lived my life, it’s not correct,” he adds.

Rupert says his black American friends find this concept “incredibly funny”. To which Mkhari responds: “How would your black African friends find it?”

“Well clearly you’ve told me that’s what you think,” Rupert chirps. The Rupert’s anti-Apartheid views cost them, the businessman says.

“They had a choice. Either immigrate or have loyal resistance and they chose loyal resistance. That means you like South Africa, but you’re against Apartheid.

“I was attacked Apartheid at [the] university (sic). They (the government) shut our import permit for 10 months, the whole of Remgro’s.

“We never did business with the government. If my father had immigrated, the shareholders would have done a lot better. We were boycotted overseas because of South Africa,” Rupert explains.

He says the Rupert family could easily have left.

“You talk about all the companies we’ve invested in, we could have taken the money out of the company, bought boats. But we did a series of partnerships. We didn’t interfere in the management.”