Premier slams Rupert for raising issue on wrong platform
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.”