- Speaking at Remgro’s Annual General Meeting Johann Rupert claims Jacob Zuma hired investigators to get ‘dirt’ on him
- This had been in response to Rupert calling for the ex-president’s resignation in 2016
- Johann said he has been closely following the State Capture scandal closely and had been shocked by the outcome
South Africa’s second-richest man, Johann Rupert is claiming that Jacob Zuma went as far as hiring private detectives to aid the ex-president in his smear campaign against Rupert.
Johann claims that Zuma had even gone as far as hiring five different agencies and private detectives from overseas to get information on him.
Addressing shareholders at his investment firm Remgro on Thursday he revealed that he had been following the State Capture Inquiry closely, and was shocked at the outcome thereof.
Zuma has remained silent on the matter, with his spokesperson and lawyer declining to respond to Rupert’s allegations.
Johann Rupert had called for Zuma to resign in 2016 and had been in turn targeted by a social media campaign driven by Bell Pottinger, who had been under contract from a Gupta owned Oakbay Investments.
Bell Pottinger has since gone bankrupt following its connections with the Guptas being revealed.
The campaign is believed to have been orchestrated to divert attention from the State Capture Inquiry’s allegations that signaled out the Gupta family’s influence over the ex-president.
The allegations claimed that the family had used their political influence to benefit financially from the government and the entities it owned.
Rupert has been dubbed “Rupert the Bear” after predicting the financial collapse in 2008 and for his ‘bearish’ outlook on global markets expressed concern over the economic climate:
"What really concerns me is that I’m not sure people realise the trouble we’re in; by 2020 most people believe the US will be in recession," he said. US President [Donald] Trump is hell-bent on causing trade wars, and with populism and fascism on the increase, the world "is eerily like it was in the 1920s". Explained Rupert, speaking at his company’s Annual General Meeting ( AGM).
Rupert’s comments were sprinkled with responses to trying questions from Chris Logan and Shane Watkins, shareholder activists. They had expressed concern about the declining value of the Remgro share over the last few years.
The companies portfolio includes Mediclinic, Distell, FirstRand as well as Rand Merchant Bank Holdings and has been suffering an 11% drop in the value of shares this year.
"Remgro is seen as offering long-term value, but record discounts are opening up within some of its holdings," said Logan.
Rupert however, remained unperturbed by this, saying that the decline was determined by investors.
"I care about sustainable cash flow and growing the businesses," Rupert explained.
Shane Watkins had probed into what Rupert intended to do with R15 billion on the companies balance sheet. Johann responded by saying that whilst the board had been looking for opportunities they were reluctant to invest as “people are not scared enough yet”.
Rupert elaborated by saying the market was flooded by cheap capital and that this meant potential investments would be overpriced. Evidently, Remgro will be biding its time before making any new acquisitions.
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