Anton Rupert, RIP
Anton Rupert, who died yesterday, aged 89, at his home in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, was like a South African Bill Gates, in that he dreamed up his empire while rolling cigarettes in his garage.
Not true – Bill Gates never rolled a cigarette in his life. But Rupert did – or so the myth about South Africa’s richest Afrikaner goes – and eventually all those little ciggies added up to two of the world’s most successful investment and luxury goods companies, Rembrandt/Remgro and Richemont.
Personally, Your Correspondent will shed a tear for Mr. Rupert because of his founding stakeholding (through his son Antonij) in the Rupert & Rothschild wine estate – two names to strike the fear of God in any Socialist, and start the lips a-puckering in any wine lover. (The Baron Edmund Bordeaux is particularly recommended. No doubt traces of it can be found in the gullets of many an SA Socialist.)
Others, however, will mourn Mr. Rupert over the lacuna he leaves in charitable giving in conservation and the arts – just please don’t mention the fact that his great wealth derived from tobacco, liquor and mining interests.
As they’re saying throughout Afrikanerdom today, Mooi loop, Anton.