By BO Staff Writer
Today in London, a group of people allegedly hired by Johann Rupert will protest at the offices of his former PR company, Bell Pottinger.
Rupert has not had peace since the Gupta family businesses out-manoeuvred him and poached his spin doctors. At the last Remgro group annual general meeting, Rupert bitterly lamented how the Guptas took his London based PR firm, Bell Pottinger. Rupert felt betrayed by the outfit which had been cleaning his image for the last 18 years. Sources who refused to be named but are close to Rupert say he has been depressed by losing to the Guptas and had vowed to fight back.
Rupert has been losing the public relations war. First, he was implicated in the theft of R26 billion from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). The leaked public protector’s report found Absa bank guilty of apartheid looting and recommended that it pays back the money. Rupert knows that once Absa pays he is next because he stole just like Absa.
The second PR disaster was the findings of the Competition Commission on his giant multinational company, Unilever, which was found to be stealing from the the poor by inflating prices and colluding.
The media has also started reporting on how Rupert has been dodging payment of services in Mpumalanga which runs into R64 million. Even the SASSA debacle implicated him as a beneficiary of the mess.
Rupert lost his PR firm when he needed it the most. What makes it even more painful for him, according to sources, is that he lost Bell Pottinger to the Guptas, his main rivals.
The fight back by Rupert has included bailing out Times Media, the owners of Sunday Times, demanding that it goes after his opponents.
Rupert perceives the Black Consciousness organization, Black First Land First (BLF) as the main problem. Sources say he instructed the Sunday Times to go after BLF and its leaders. Soon after he bailed out Times Media, fake reports started surfacing from Sunday Times about BLF as a surrogate of Bell Pottinger. The reports are based on a fictitious report without authors. Many believe the report upon which the Sunday Times/Bell Pottinger story relies on was in fact written by the agents of the same Johann Rupert to besmirch his opponents.
In his fight back Rupert has not spared any cent. It is alleged that he has hired a raft of fake Twitter acounts and fake blogs to write lies about his opponents and to go after Bell Pottinger for betraying him.
In the fight, even big names like Professor Pierre de Vos and the veteran spin doctor Chris Vick are alleged to have been roped in to fight the battle for Rupert against principally, BLF and its leaders. The strategy is to lie about BLF links with Bell Pottinger without providing any proof. It’s a propaganda war based purely on lies and fake news.
All that was not enough, Rupert is said to have hired people to protest at the offices of Bell Pottinger in London as revenge to having stabbed him in the back by working with the Guptas. The propaganda by the Rupert agents is tasked to counter the narrative by BLF that says the key stumbling block to transformation is white monopoly capital represented by amongst others, the Rupert and Oppenheimer families.
Time will tell whether the hired protestors will assist the beleaguered Rupert or not.