“I have not met the deputy president – in fact, I have not seen him for years. I heard about Mr Gordhan’s appointment over the public news broadcasts. […] Anyway, if I were to have met with Mr Ramaphosa, or any other politician… what would have been wrong with that? Are we returning to the dark days of dictatorship and fear?”
– Billionaire businessman Johann Rupert, in an interview with the Sunday Times, responding to claims that he instructed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to convince President Jacob Zuma to appoint Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in December, following the shock axing of Nhlanhla Nene. Rupert publicly urged Zuma to step down on 23 March, prompting Zuma’s son Edward to lay a charge of corruption against Rupert, who Edward described as “an arrogant white racist who has been looting unabated”, timeslive.co.za reported.
“Perhaps the saddest thing about the malodour that is the Jacob Zuma presidency is that we all knew from the onset just how rotten it would be. His comrades in the ANC leadership knew. Ordinary ANC members knew. The public knew. The whole world knew. It is therefore shocking to find us being shocked about Zuma selling the country to whichever bidder gets to him first.”
– Mondli Makhanya, editor-at-large of City Press, in a column published on 27 March on the allegations of “state capture” and Zuma’s close relationship with the Gupta family.
“WE MUST BE CLEAR THAT ‘STATE AND CORPORATE CAPTURE’ IS A EUPHEMISM FOR BLATANT CORRUPTION. WE REMAIN DEEPLY CONCERNED AND DISTURBED THAT THE WORRISOME TREND OF UNDUE AND ILLEGITIMATE INFLUENCE AND INTERFERENCE IN THE STATE CONTINUES TO REPRESENT A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER AND THREAT TO THE STABILITY OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY.”
– Cas Coovadia, managing director of Banking Association South Africa (BASA), whose members include the country’s major banking groups as well as international banks such as JP Morgan, Societe Generale, HSBC, Citi and the Bank of China, in an e-mailed statement on 23 March.
Johann Rupert Business tycoon