By BO Staff Writer
Johann Rupert is losing it, literally! Last Friday he shouted through his shareholder meeting, with cigarette on lips. Rupert had to tell the shocked shareholders that profits are a shocking 46% down. Sources who attended the meeting say that Rupert appeared drunk, nervous and was easily agitated. He smoked during the important meeting to calm his nerves.
Sources further say that when Rupert was confronted by some shareholders, he barked through smoke that they must trust him or sell their shares. It is clear that Johann is losing it! Only the media he owns is shielding him from scrutiny.
The shareholder meeting was a disaster from start to finish. Many shareholders are said to have lost faith in Rupert more so now that his grip on the South African state has been severely weakened with the removal of his main man, Pravin Gordhan.
According to sources, Johann’s main concern is the speed at which President Zuma is moving to popularize and implement Radical Economic Transformation (RET). The removal of Pravin Gordhan and the open call for land expropriation without compensation has convinced Johann Rupert and white monopoly capital that Zuma is serious. These moves by Zuma have now rendered white monopoly capital desperate. To this end white monopoly capital needs Zuma removed without further delays. Trevor Manuel is entrusted with the task of masterminding the coup plans. Rupert is losing faith in the capacity of his faction who consequently are all acting in desperation.
The increasingly erratic Johann Rupert was heard after the shareholders meeting shouting on the phone to who sources say was Trevor Manuel, to do something. Manuel is one of the key operatives of Johann Rupert to maintain his (Rupert’s) capture of the state. The return of Brian Molefe to Eskom is seen by Rupert as a further sign of his dwindling influence.
The recent attack on Molefe and the Eskom Board by Trevor Manuel is part of the fight back to try and save the influence of Rupert over the economy and the monopoly he and the Oppenheimer family have enjoyed over government contracts and coal supply to Eskom. Molefe and the Eskom Board have been very instrumental in demanding the above BEE seiling of 50% black ownership on companies doing business with Eskom. This provision was the main reason why white monopoly capital unleashed the former Public Protector (Advocate Thuli Madonsela) on Molefe.
Subsequent to her so called “State of Capture” report, which unfairly implicates Molefe in wrongdoing without any tangible evidence, Advocate Madonsela was thanked by Johann Rupert with a special job at the University of Stellenbosch where he holds the powerful position of Chancellor.
Trevor Manuel is under pressure to find a solution to the troubles of his friend and benefactor. It must be remembered that Manuel was married at one of Johann Rupert’s expensive wine farms in Stellenbosch. The grip that Rupert had over Treasury and the South African state, via the former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, is now weakened. His only hope is Trevor Manuel.
Trevor Manuel’s fight back at Eskom through his faction inside the ANC is aimed at reversing the re-appointment of Brian Molefe. The Pravin Gordhan faction has some control over the ANC machinery through the Office of the Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe. This explains the ANC’s bizarre statement, which borders on illegality, on the return of Brian Molefe who received a heroic reception from the Eskom staff.
Trevor Manuel’s outburst against Brian Molefe and the Eskom Board is part of what seems like a meltdown by Johann Rupert who in turn must still deal with the Competition Commission Tribunal. Rupert’s company, Unilever, was found guilty of corruption by the Competition Commission. Added to his woes is the possibility that the final report of the Public Protector, on the ABSA corruption entailing the R26 billion stolen from the South African Reserve Bank, will go against ABSA. If ABSA is ordered to pay back the money, then the door will be flung wide open for claims against Rupert because he stole in the same way as ABSA.
It never rains but pours for Johann Rupert. Looks like chain smoking has not eased his nerves. The question is, will his trusted Lieutenant Trevor Manuel rescue the sinking ship?