HEY MR JR, HISTORY WON’T ABSOLVE YOU
I THINK Power FM’s Chairman’s Conversation is problematic in many ways.
The interview must not be a dialogue (we might as well watch it on YouTube not prime time TV).
It needs more anchors to cover different angles. It needs scholars and well-read newsmen and newswomen.
Otherwise this is like a Destiny Man interview. In fact, it was. For sure the editor, Thabiso Tema, will summarise it there for feel good reading about “enigmatic” businessmen.
The #FeesMustFall activists would have served Johann Rupert for breakfast. The guy had easy passage on critical historical and contemporary facts. He chose white prejudice about night clubs and cars over real political economy issues. He walked all over us, man!
Given Mkhari served us as sorghum beer at a Maskandi festival.
More substantively, Rupert rewrote history and told alternative facts about his family’s relationship with apartheid. He made us believe that his success is only a function of initiative, not state patronage.
For him, the Stellenbosch mafia, thing is nothing but a myth. Stellenbosch only happens to be the residential area where the Afrikaner super rich either studied or own wine estates. That most of their businesses started there with clear incestuous relationships is mute to him.
He intimidates us by showing off his black friends and black celebrities who model his wares. Why not show off the wealth he has created for black people or his transformation record. Why not show off how his banks have opened funding opportunities for black businesses – not just consumption finance.
I agree with David Maimela that it was a great interview: it reminded us of the big struggles ahead, the need to move mountains to reclaim our dignity. We were reminded that white elites value the tribal ticket for it divides us while they exploit the riches of the country.
Rupert reminded us of how low white capital thinks of us: that if we get money we will go clubbing.
JR, as Mkhari patronisingly called him, says the problem in South Africa is Afrikaner versus black nationalism. He stops there. He doesn’t say the former is racist and the latter is revolutionary and anti-white supremacist. Black consciousness is the antithesis of white consciousness. But it is progressive, forward looking and internationalist.
Pity Rupert learnt nothing from his claimed meeting with Steve Biko.
What is most painful is seeing comrades condemn Rupert yet spend millions on his products. They proudly drink his wine (R&R) and wear his clothes as if Louis Vuitton is equivalent to Che Guevara T-shirts that represent something revolutionary.
One thing is clear, the rainbow nation lullaby is no longer hypnotic. History won’t absolve you Mr JR.