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How Stellenbosch became a breeding ground for Afrikaner billionaire businessmen

26 September 2019 1:23 PM
The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Pieter du Toit, author of "The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaires' Club".
(From left to right) Johann Rupert, Christo Wiese, Markus Jooste and Jannie Mouton.

There was a feeling amongst the Broederbond that Afrikaner quotas should be introduced… Anton Rupert was a staunch opponent… He said that if they were going to spoon-feed Afrikaner businesses, they’ll never be able to stand on their own…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

You just have to look at the Top 40 index of the JSE… the next generation is already busy. Stellenbosch is a very tech-savvy town… It’s impressive to see…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

Markus Jooste… he desperately wanted to be part of that group… it didn’t turn out so well… It is a closed society…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

On the weekend, Pieter du Toit’s new book “The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaires' Club” made headlines.

Various publications published excerpts from it describing how closely connected the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu is to Johann Rupert.

If public the EFF decries Rupert and “white capital” but, claims Du Toit, Shivambu and Rupert are close enough to have worked together on a few occasions.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Du Toit, asking him how the “Stellenbosch Mafia” works.

Du Toit is a seasoned political journalist and assistant editor at News24.

Description of “The Stellenbosch Mafia” on loot.co.za:

About 50 kilometres outside of Cape Town lies the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, nestled against vineyards and blue mountains that stretch to the sky.

Here reside some of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals: all male, all Afrikaans – and all stinking rich.

Johann Rupert, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and Christo Wiese, to name a few.

Julius Malema refers to them scathingly as “The Stellenbosch Mafia”, the very worst example of white monopoly capital.

But who are these mega-wealthy individuals, and what influence do they exert not only in Stellenbosch but more broadly on South African society?

Author Pieter du Toit begins by exploring the roots of Stellenbosch, one of the wealthiest towns in South Africa and arguably the cradle of Afrikanerdom.

The town is the birthplace of apartheid leaders, intellectuals, newspaper empires and more.

He then carefully examines this “club” of billionaires.

  • Who are they and, crucially, how are they connected?

  • What network of boardroom membership, alliances and family connections exist?

  • Who is the “old guard” and who are the “newcomers”?

  • What about the youngsters desperate to make their mark?

He looks at the collapse of Steinhoff: what went wrong, and whether there are other companies at risk of a similar fate.

He examines the control these men have over cultural life, including pulling strings in South African rugby.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

Stellenbosch is not the richest area in the country. Johannesburg tops the list… Stellenbosch is an interesting place…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

The new money is the Capitecs, the PSGs and, also, Steinhoff… the old money doesn’t shimmer. The new money shimmers quite a lot…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

It starts after the Boer War… the farmers lost their farms and livelihoods… Transvaal and the Free State was pretty much destroyed… Stellenbosch became the spiritual home of the resistance against British domination…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

…when Johann Rupert was younger, he was opposed to apartheid…

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

Rupert became the target of that [Bell Pottinger misinformation campaign] …

Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor - News24

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26 September 2019 1:23 PM

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