Article

An open letter to “racist” Johann Rupert


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

DEAR Mr. Rupert,

In the midst of the damaging lockdown our country is enduring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought I would take time to write to you.

After the global pandemic reached our beautiful shores early last month, you were amongst the first businesspeople to donate millions into an initiative aimed at assisting and uplifting small businesses affected by the virus.

Like most rational people in South Africa, I saw your generosity as a courageous and patriotic act that is testament to your affection for this country.

The role you have played in the midst of this pandemic, is a reminder that when our nation goes through tribulations – there are always personalities who rise through to national heroism. You are amongst those personalities.

You could have spent your R1 billion on personal consumption – and as a staunch believer in individual liberty I believe you have a right to that. But instead of personal consumption, you chose to save businesses and jobs. That to me, is real patriotism.

As you well know, when COVID-19 arrived in South Africa, the country was already in a recession – after the economy contracted in the third and fourth quarter of 2019.

You’ll probably agree with me that the recession was man-made by – to be specific – the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC).

State corruption and hostility to business, combined with bad policy in general had already caught up with us by the end of 2019.

We are now in a painful crisis that is leaving millions of South Africans jobless and hopeless.

I see this virus as a test on our sense of resolve in times of socioeconomic crises.

On numerous occasions, I have been fortunate to hear you comment on the socioeconomic ills of our nation.

I have always agreed with your insights – and found them so invaluable that I wish every South African could hear them.

Your daring to express your views in a country where those who believe in big, controlling government dominate the discourse, deserves praises.

These people, who strongly believe in government interfering in our lives, are in the media, politics, academia and NGOs. They tend to muzzle anybody who disagrees with them.

According to them, if you are white and believe in the ideas of limited government and the sanctity of the family unit – you are racist.

If you are black like me, and believe in similar ideas, you are labelled a sell-out serving white masters, and someone who lacks understanding of the history of South Africa. Insults are tossed your way. I know that because I experience it often.

You have been unfairly labelled a “racist” many times. I feel sorry that you have gone through that. Remain firm and unwavering in your convictions. You are an inspiration to us all on the African continent.

I’m sure you and I agree that human beings are not the same – they can’t think the same way – and it’d be silly of us to expect them to think in a similar way.

Hence, it is ridiculous for these pro big-government people to expect all black people to be socialists and communists.

South Africa is at a critical crossroads; there was never a time when diversity of views on how we should build a prosperous nation was more needed since 1994.

The awful state of affairs requires a different approach from what has been practiced in public policy over the past fifteen years.

You and I are part of a minority that has acknowledged the harm caused by government’s interventions in the economy and the danger politicians pose to individual liberty.

A man of your stature inspires us to march forward in the advancement of human freedom.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express gratitude for the outstanding and wonderful work you have done and continue to do in projects advancing private property rights in South Africa, especially in black communities.

Over twenty years after apartheid was supposed to have ended, the majority of black South Africans still do not own property and remain tenants of the government. They live on government-controlled land with no personal responsibility to it. This is a shameful situation that needs to be reversed urgently.

Your collaboration with organisations whose missions include reversing this shameful legacy of apartheid – and restore people’s dignity must be applauded. You have not only invested money in advancing property rights, but also your time.

I have argued, repeatedly, that if the ANC government is serious about land reform – then they must give all superfluous land the state owns to the poor. The government’s role in our society, is to create an environment conducive to vibrant business activity that will create jobs for the unemployed.

Johann, businessmen and women like you are patriots. You help build this economy – employ people – and contribute to the development of our society.

You are a star. Your contribution, along with those of other businesspeople in South Africa is greatly appreciated.

We thank you.

Yours Sincerely,

Phumlani M. Majozi

© PHUMLANI M. MAJOZI


14 Comments

  • Raymond <span>May 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm</span>

    If the great mr TRUMP could have been elected in America !
    Why then can Mr. Johann Rupert. Not be our next President ?

    Reply
  • Theresa Becker <span>May 1, 2020 at 8:14 pm</span>

    I salute mr Majozi. He gives me hope for a country where whites are not welcome.

    Reply
  • Shadrack mzwandile de Bees <span>May 1, 2020 at 9:10 pm</span>

    That’s great. Give credit where it is due. We must stop this notion that if it’s not ANC coated, it won’t work.

    Reply
  • Dr Stef Oosthuysen <span>May 1, 2020 at 10:58 pm</span>

    Wow, inspirational from you, Sir! I applaud you! Must be difficult to have such sane views in your community? Or am I wrong!
    One thing I do know. The anc is a Plane Crash!

    Reply
  • PeterWillDo <span>May 2, 2020 at 9:45 am</span>

    I am unable to claim that I am knowledgeable or expert in any depth or aspects of your letter to Rupert. What I am aware of however is that you are honest and genuinely concerned about ‘this beautiful country’ and clearly wish it was on a high road of achievement in all areas that would make it successful for ALL its inhabitants which in turn would drive the entire country towards being the powerhouse that all hoped and believed it would become as a true democracy. Sadly still too many inhabitants from all walks have some innate misguided need and wish to continue to impose negative and confrontational behavior on our nations populace which fragments our society and leaves one in a worse off position which requires a quadrupling of effort to rebuild. However, owing to all that has in the interim been uttered, it takes much more time to re-reach the levels that had previously been reached in yet another tedious rebuilding process. All these rebuilds slow the positive progression of our people and country and we find ourselves on the ‘hamster wheel’ road to nowhere at a snails pace. This country needs to stop being an oversized school playground with all the bickering, bullying, teasing, thieving and ostracizing and actually start to become serious about leaving a legacy of success and pride for future generations. There are many that could be named-like yourself and Rupert-I don’t have all the names in my human memory stick or cpu and just like stars in the universe they come and go in an ever changing landscape. I often wonder when the right shaped ‘key’ will appear that will be a fit for our society, remove us from the hamster wheel and place us on that road of all encompassing achievement.

    Reply
  • KB <span>May 2, 2020 at 10:04 am</span>

    Awesome 👏 great letter!
    Those with intelligence will agree.

    Thank you Phumlani

    Reply
  • Tito Zwane <span>May 2, 2020 at 10:25 am</span>

    Well said. I would not be able to put it any better than you.

    Reply
  • Mel <span>May 2, 2020 at 10:38 am</span>

    I support your views 100% & am delighted to know there are responsible people out there with such forthright opinions.

    Reply
  • Val Holland <span>May 2, 2020 at 11:48 am</span>

    If many,many more South Africans held these views South Africa would be a bastion of hope to Africa, the supposed “Dark Continent”

    Unless people are imbued with and generationally steeped in the values of free markets, individual liberties, minimal Government – and real respect for human rights – not the politically correct – we are in the authoritarian State – despite voting every 5 years.

    Socialism is no less than Public Slavery – whether Soviet or National Socialism – both have failed, and cost many lives.

    This country appears firmly enroute to Communism – all the while more and more Socialist.

    A time will come when those opposed to this monster may have to pay with their lives.

    Reply
  • Richard Visagie <span>May 2, 2020 at 12:23 pm</span>

    Wonderful and thank you Phumlani for your level headed and objective approach.This is so refreshing and I wish there were thoussnds more people such as you and Johan.

    Reply
  • Selwyn Eagle <span>May 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm</span>

    Absolutely brilliantly written. The general public have absolutely no idea what Mr Rupert has actually given back to this country in so many ways, over so many years – unfortunately politics will always clash ………

    Reply
  • Sunboy <span>May 3, 2020 at 9:06 am</span>

    Good day

    I fully agree with what you wrote , it is high time we start acknowledging our differences “ thus not ignoring them “ and working together towards inclusive economic reforms on a greater scale ,devise policy to benefit the masses that than a few, I have witnessed that policies in place has not delivered enough in terms of mass economic participation but rather than that it drove our majority to a consumption society rather than innovate through a series of reforms that seeks to keep citizens intact to our government making us vulnerable to poor thought process to scrutinize our government, Holding our government to account .

    I am of a strong view that one cannot expect distraction creators to dig us out from deep economic turmoil. What we need as a country is a president that is accountable to the citizens first rather than the party which deployed him/her.

    Evidence of disgraceful leadership, reactive , incompetence and government for the elite” particularly party volunteers “ is everywhere, from state of SOE , alleged mass corruption in local , districts and provincial levels of government, lack of foresight in capital/ infrastructure investment, high crime levels , sickening high poverty ,

    Can a prominent individual deployed by their respective party put society interests first ?.

    Reply
  • Richard Benjamin <span>May 3, 2020 at 3:03 pm</span>

    Gratitude is rare in SA today; thank you for your expression of this essential and noble quality – it is well-deserved. Your sentiment makes me recall a time in my life when my mother insisted that after opening Christmas and birthday gifts, we wrote Thank You letters to the givers before we played with them. Your letter transcends the sorry state of South Africans, so trapped in ascribing categories based on birth, that we can no longer discern reality. The gift of enormous magnitude, which has been popularly described as ‘loose change from his back pocket’ set a trend which has hardly been responded to by many who are well able to. Your letter is so pertinent. Thank you.

    Reply
  • H Oosthuizen <span>May 3, 2020 at 5:18 pm</span>

    Dear Mr Majozi
    Thank you for providing some hope for the future amidst a failed government.
    The Ruperts built their business thru smart work and dedication. Their filtantropy stretched far and wide – beyond racial divides.

    Reply

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