Rupert’s ruckus annoys neighbours
They say good fences make good neighbours, but those living next to the home of business mogul Anton Rupert in trendy De Waterkant in Green Point, Cape Town, say earplugs would be a better investment. Residents of the up-market suburb have relayed how they lay awake until the crack of dawn as noise, laughter, power ballads and House music boomed from Rupert’s house, which has a balcony overlooking the V&A Waterfront.
Deed documents list the address of the noisy house as Rupert’s “residential address”.
Rupert (28) is named after his grandfather, the billionaire businessman who founded the Rembrandt Group in Stellenbosch.
He offered his apologies in an email to City Press this week, saying he would like to “reach out to those who were negatively affected [by the commotion] ... and apologise to them personally”.
De Waterkant is marketed as a quaint, sleepy suburb with cobblestone streets, and up-market restaurants and bars such as Cafe Manhattan and Cubaña Cigar Lounge.
But Francesco Uys Rootenberg, secretary of the De Waterkant Civic Association, told City Press they had received seven complaints about noise emanating from Rupert’s house this past year.
Complaints were also received about illegally parked cars around the house. A black Jaguar and a white Porsche are regular fixtures.
No official charges for disturbing the peace have been laid with police.
“The nuisance identified was a combination of loud music, and people talking, shouting and laughing within the aforementioned residence,” said Rootenberg.
“It’s tough. With businesses, the owners can be threatened that their licences will be confiscated. But with private residences, one relies on the moral imperatives of owners, of them having consideration for their neighbours,” he said.
Loud alfresco entertainment on the seafacing balcony picked up steam in the run-up to the festive season.
De Waterkant Civic Association chairperson Ian McMahon, also the director of the Mother City Queer Project, said he was aware of people banging on the home’s door at 5am to get the revellers to turn the noise down.
City Press is in possession of iPhone video clips recorded by a neighbour in the early hours of December 16.
It shows men swigging from bottles on the balcony at 4.20am, having loud discussions. Then music can be heard. Residents have taken to De Waterkant’s Facebook page to vent their frustration.
“Is there any point in complaining about the noise at the Rupert residence?” wrote a neighbour at 11.14pm on Wednesday, December 9.
Rootenberg said the noise relating to the house was also discussed earlier in the year at the association’s public meeting in February, and was noted in minutes at its AGM in March.
As a result, the association sent a letter to the house in February, suggesting they meet to discuss the situation.
The letter noted “loud music and people talking, shouting and laughing until 4am”.
It also stated that “guests who attend the regular parties [at the house] ... have repeatedly been seen to be parking on red lines, yellow lines and in spaces that obstruct access to neighbouring garages or the street”.
Rootenberg said they received no response to the association’s letter. However, in response to questions from City Press this week, Rupert said he had written to the association to offer his apologies.
He wrote in an email this week: “I’ve already written to the members of the De Waterkant Civic Association to offer a full apology for the disturbances and to let them know it would not happen again, as well as to try to reach out to those who were negatively affected so that I can write to apologise to them personally. It was never my intention to negatively impact those around me.”
Rupert serves as the director of 27 companies, including Anthonij Rupert Wines and the Leopard Creek Country Club, built by golf legend Gary Player.
He is also a director of the family’s Franschhoek Motor Museum and their L’Ormarins Wine Estate, where the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate horse race is hosted annually, and where former finance minister Trevor Manuel and business executive Maria Ramos exchanged nuptials in December 2008.
Rupert made headlines in 2008 when he survived a major crash in a Ferrari.