Rupert, Blackened Lungs & Fake News

By Pinky Khoabane

Rupert-Johann-2004Johann Rupert

Its not often that annual general meetings (AGMS) of large corporations serve the purpose for which they are meant – to hold managers accountable. They are rarely met with controversy or challenged. It’s usually a case of the big boys having their decisions rubber-stamped by the AGM.

In 2003, the Business Report reported that the First Rand’s annual general meeting would have “gone-off without a hitch were it not for three colourful characters.”

Each of the three held 100 shares but they all had an axe to grind and they planned to sue First Rand.

One was a former employee disgruntled with the corporate governance of the organisation, another was Michael Harris who was suing the company for R50m in damages following the sequestration of his company, which he says was fraudulent.

Then there was a group of individuals who represented Barry Spitz of International Law & Tax Institute demanded compensation for commission he claimed was not paid.

Large corporations on the main, manipulate and control these meetings to ensure as little commotion as possible occurs.

Security will be beefed up and “settlements” will be reached to try and keep these elements out of the AGM.

Until five or six years ago, Remgro’s AGMs were simply “formulaic events” reported Business Day a few weeks ago. The event was packed with shareholders who came to pay “respect”, hear global news and head back home.

But this year, a shareholder made it all exciting when he flew down to Somerset West to engage billionaire Johan Rupert on corporate governance issues.

There was the news of an increase in the vote against Fred Robertson from 19.25% in 2015 to 22% in 2016. And then the rejection by 31.6% of Paul Harris who had been on the Remgro board since 2001.

Somehow the paper had to include the fact that Remgro had long-standing relations with service providers, among them auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) which it has used since 1948.

Madonsela, Remgro, PWC, Rupert and State Capture Report

PwC is the same audit firm that former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela appointed to compile the State of Capture report.

Madonsela despite 6 years of investigating large-scale apartheid looting ahead of the democratic dispensation – which amounts to R26bn – could not come up with findings. Those implicated include Johann Rupert and financial institutions ABSA and Nedbank, and Daimler Chrysler. She will next year, become an employee at the Stellenbosch University where Rupert is a chancellor.

We have here at UnCensored posited that there’s a conflict of interest in this matter which ought to be scrutinised by the public protector.

Our contention has always been that this is a typical swing-door syndrome which in other countries would be declared unlawful and criminal.

At the same AGM, Rupert spoke of how his company’s PR company of around 18 years had turned against him in a Gupta-orchestrated campaign to link him to allegations of state capture. He said the campaign included a narrative that said he had control of the media.

Rupert, Tobacco Wars & Fake News

With the help of Bell Pottinger PR Agency – a relationship spanning 18 years, Rupert and his tobacco company have a long standing record of manipulation and disinformation. Lobbying activities range from inviting policy makers to drinks to outright bribes.  has plugged massive amounts on public relations, media, sponsorship and advertising.

UnCensored has shown Rupert’s investments in media but the involvement of the tobacco industry, from which he made his fortune, in lobbying policymakers and the medical community for purposes of promoting cigarettes epitomises the extent to which this industry has gone to glorify tobacco for the sole purpose of making money at the expense of the lives of smokers.

Reinet Investments, headed by Johann Rupert, holds shares in British American Tobacco (BAT) which it has sold over the years but BusinessDay in May this year reported that the value of the remaining shares was at about R61 bn.

UnCensored in September revealed how BAT had been involved in a full-scale war against African policy makers keen on curbing cigarette smoking. It had also run a sophisticated spying network aimed at closing down competitors. Allegations include widespread fraud, racketeering and illegal activity involving South African crime fighters and representatives of BAT.

BAT, Apartheid Spies and Propaganda

craigCraig Williamson

A closer inspection of the people behind the industrial espionage in the tobacco industry in South Africa shows a host of former apartheid intelligence operatives including Craig Williamson.

He’s an apartheid spy linked to many state-sponsored atrocities including bombings, killings, burglaries, kidnappings and propaganda. He applied for amnesty at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for bombing the ANC London office. He was involved in the burglary at the PAC office in London. He sent letter bombs which assassinated anti-apartheid activists Ruth First and Jeanette Curtis Schoon and her six-year old Katryn.

Leading Politicians and the Tobacco Propaganda

In an explosive article in a publication by Standford Medicine, detailing among others, the “1999 Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry, 46 state governments and five U.S. territories,” former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is identified as among the leading politicians who worked for the tobacco industry, specifically the American tobacco conglomerate, Phillip Morris.

“Of course, Philip Morris’ desire to use Thatcher’s prominence to help gain access to world leaders and promote tobacco around the globe was never explicit, but the company’s intent was clear,” the article reads.

An  internal memo between two Philip Morris executives in January 7, 1992, shortly after the partnership commenced reads:

Inter-Office Correspondence
To: Murray H. Bring
From: Charles R. Wall
Subject: Margaret Thatcher

Two thoughts on Margaret Thatcher.
1) Can she help the proposed Ad Ban Directive under wraps? I can check with Hugh or someone to check with our Brussels people.
2) Can she help with any Eastern European countries where we are in negotiations, etc. with the governments? I do not know enough to be more specific”.

Read the full article here http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2012/02/01/the-smoking-gun-of-the-iron-lady-margaret-thatchers-relationship-with-the-tobacco-industry/

A report in the Independent in 2011 revealed the covert actions of the tobacco industry and its use of public relations and law firms in accessing health documents held in public organisations and manipulating and lobbying policymakers.

Lord Robin Renwick is a former ambassador to South Africa between 1987 and 1991 and was deployed to Southern Africa during the Thatcher years. Black  Opinion described him as a “chief imperialist negotiator” whose chief task was to find a negotiated settlement between liberation movements, their oppressors and Britain. Renwick sits on the board of numerous companies including Rupert’s luxury goods brands group, Richemont.

Tobacco Advertising

The tobacco industry spends billions in marketing and promoting cigarettes through advertising, promotions and sponsorships, largely of sports events. It is estimated that tobacco kills 35000 people a year and 1000 a day. And so this industry uses athletes, young people and the glamour and television coverage that comes with sport, to sell death.

Virtually all tobacco advertising has been banned in South Africa, the UK and many other countries and the industry has had to turn to other forms of extremely persuasive means to ensure policy makers and government officials adopt a lenient stance on some the stringent rules being imposed on cigarettes.

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  1. Hi Pk,

    FirstRand Limited/FirstRand bank Limited/First National bank :

    I see that you have mentioned my presence at the 2003 AGM of FirstRand Limited. Yes, I attended their AGM’s from 2001 to 2012. I attended, trying to Expose all the Crime that the Directors were (still are) committing. It is Crime that is very well known and supported and encouraged by their Shareholders (who are mainly the Directors themselves) and known and supported and encouraged by their Auditors Deloitte and Touché and PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. Their lawyer was a man by the name of Robert Driman from Denys Reitz; now he is a Director and Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc.

    If these ‘fine gentlemen and fine ladies’ (sick) (Directors) ever come to Court – more especially a Criminal Court; Please GOD, then all the Documents and all the Statements made to the Police in the about 31 Police Cases that I have personally opened against these CROOKS CHEATS THIEVES (CCT) – and which were all TABLED for discussion and so form a part of the permanent Record of this Public Compnay – can be obtained from the following “Afrikaner Nationalist Mafia Gang Members” : “JR” Rupert; “GT” Ferreira; “LL” Dippenaar’ “PK” Harris (no relation of mine – please !); “Viv” Bartlett and from their Auditor “Tom” Winterboer; and from their agents Robert Driman and Andre de Lange.

    These are the ‘people’ that I refer to as “Rupert and his Afrikaner Nationalist Mafia Gang” – with Winterboer and Driman and de Lange acting as their agents.

    At the 2012 AGM of FirstRand Limited I was in attendance with Mr. Emarald van Zyl who had come up from Cape Town specially to attend the AGM with me, and who was staying over at our home. I wanted to once again TABLE Documents and Statements made to the Police so that they (Documents and affidavits) would become permanent Records in the affairs of this Public Company. I was in attendance as a shareholder by invitation of the Chairman, the Directors and the Company Secretary.

    However, when I got there, on the instruction of the Chairman, one “LL” Dippenaar and his Board of Directors I was assaulted and carried out of the building by 6 men BEFORE the AGM had even commenced. The Company Secretary Mr. Bruce Unser and the Company lawyer Mr. Robert Driman supervised the assault.

    The Hospital Report that I submitted to the Police : Case Number 977 /11/2012 Sandton Police Station Michael Harris / FirstRand Limited was not enough to get the Public Prosecutor at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to Prosecute.

    At the 2013 AGM I was stopped by the Police at the main gate and prevented from entering the property to attend the AGM.

    I again TABLED for discussion at the 2013 and 2014 FRL AGM’s very substantial Documentation describing all the Crime. This documentation now forms a permanent Record in the affairs of this Public Company and the bank that they run.

    Remgro :

    I attended the AGM of Remgro on the 24/11/2011 in Somerset West. I was taken to the toilets and ‘body-searched’. Two of Rupert’s ‘goons’ came and sat next to me and in front of me – they were both ex-cops working for Rupert. Rupert proceeded to tell LIES about me to his Shareholders – in front of me. He ‘sniggered’ and he ‘scoffed’ at me; he laughed at me; he LIED that Remgro had not received Documents from me. I had proof of receipt. He called me Insane in front of his Shareholders and all the guests there and the News Media. When I TABLED Documents he had me “thrown out” of the AGM.

    The following year 2012 I was warned by Rupert’s lawyer one Andre de Lange of CDH Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer not to attend the AGM. I was warned that if a attended I would not be allowed to enter the property. I am a shareholder. I was invited by Rupert himself to attend – in the afs.

    I did TABLE substantial Documentation into the permanent Records of Remgro in 2012.

    Again in 2013 I was warned not to attend by Rupert’s own personal agent/lawyer de Lange. I again submitted substantial Documentation and I requested that it be TABLED into the permanent Records of Remgro for discussion.

    Next de Lange THREATENED me with Prosecution – saying that I was committing a Crime by writing to his client – yes, you guessed it – “JR” Rupert, the KING-PIN in all this Crime at FirstRand Limited and at Remgro and First National bank. I asked what Crime ? de Lange ignored me; except that he just THREATENED me again.

    I have asked repeatedly for a copy of the tape recordings of the FRL and Remgro AGM’s. I am denied receipt. I am ignored.

    One fine day, Please GOD, all the Documentation that I TABLED into the permanent Records of FirstRand Limited and Remgro will be available to the Police to Prosecute these CROOKS CHEATS THIEVES; to put them in Jail – where they belong.

    PK and Emerald, please keep up your tireless work against these CROOKS CHEATS THIEVES i.e. “Rupert and his Afrikaner Nationalist Mafia Gang” – with Winterboer; Driman; de Lange acting as their agents to help them to commit Crime – even Crime against their very OWN CLIENTS (especially if they are so-called ‘poor’ ‘black’ ‘Coloured’ and Indian); to protect them; to keep them from going to JAIL – where they actually belong. No doubt !!!!

    Lord Bless, love Michael (heart).

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