Premier slams Ru­pert for rais­ing is­sue on wrong plat­form

Cape Times - - NATION - KUBEN CHETTY Re­gional po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

KWAZULU-NA­TAL Premier Willies Mchunu had some ad­vice for ty­coon Jo­hann Ru­pert yes­ter­day, telling him that he should have used a so­cial co­he­sion plat­form and not a live in­ter­view to talk about race is­sues in the coun­try.

Mchunu was speak­ing at the in­au­gu­ral meet­ing of the prov­ince’s So­cial Co­he­sion and Moral Re­gen­er­a­tion Coun­cil in Dur­ban.

Ru­pert, the chair­per­son of the Rem­gro group, was slammed on so­cial me­dia for a Power FM in­ter­view where he said the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of black peo­ple, un­like Nel­son Man­dela and Steve Biko, love up­mar­ket night­clubs like Taboo and would not spend decades in prison.

He also said that Afrikan­ers were driven to suc­ceed but black peo­ple “buy BMWs and hang around at Taboo or The Sands”.

On Wed­nes­day, Ru­pert apol­o­gised, say­ing he had not meant to in­sult any­one and was re­spond­ing in the con­text of how his par­ents were raised.

Mchunu said the Con­sti­tu­tion al­lowed every­one free­dom of speech and Ru­pert was al­lowed to speak his mind.

“Peo­ple must use their con­science to de­ter­mine if what they are say­ing is fac­tu­ally cor­rect and to also de­ter­mine if what they are say­ing con­trib­utes to the well­be­ing of the na­tion or if it is de­struc­tive.

“To choose one group­ing out of all South Africans and de­ter­mine it as a group that works bet­ter than oth­ers is mis­placed, it is not fac­tu­ally cor­rect.

“In South Africa we all have the task of build­ing this coun­try to­gether, es­pe­cially in re­la­tion to so­cial co­he­sion.

“No na­tional group­ing must be un­der­mined.

“We come from a his­tory where the cul­ture of plant­ing su­pe­ri­or­ity of one race over the other was dom­i­nant.

“We must get rid of this cul­ture … we are all hu­man be­ings but in the South African con­text, the Con­sti­tu­tion recog­nises all of us in the same man­ner, with the same rights and the same obli­ga­tions.

“If Jo­hann wants to de­bate that, then it is bet­ter to de­bate that at plat­forms such as the so­cial co­he­sion coun­cil, so we can en­gage on these is­sues.”

Mchunu said the So­cial Co­he­sion and Moral Re­gen­er­a­tion Coun­cil was formed to pro­vide a sound plat­form for con­tin­ued en­gage­ment and di­a­logue be­tween the gov­ern­ment, civil so­ci­ety, busi­ness and or­gan­ised labour on mat­ters re­lated to deep­en­ing so­cial co­he­sion and moral re­gen­er­a­tion in KwaZulu-Na­tal.

“We have noted with con­sid­er­able con­cern that in spite of 24 years of democ­racy, and ex­ten­sive in­vest­ment in im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life of all our peo­ple through so­cial ser­vices, ac­cess and eq­uity in­ter­ven­tions to ef­fect trans­for­ma­tion and a so­cial wel­fare safety net, our so­cial sta­bil­ity is still at risk and be­ing un­der­mined by divi­sion and so­cial ills.”

Mchunu said as a re­sult of this, there was no KZN and na­tional iden­tity to which every­one sub­scribes.

“The fact of the mat­ter is that we can­not be united if we re­main di­vided along lines of race, colour, lan­guage, re­li­gion, or any other belief.”

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