Did the Sunday Times deliberately avoid dealing with Rupert & Grindrod issue


By Pinky Khoabane

Dr Johann Rupert

Why did the Sunday Times ignore the response of the Department of Social Development (DSD) to questions it posed ahead of a story published on 12 March 2017 involving allegations that attorney Michael Hulley was involved in the SASSA ‘crisis”? Responding to questions raised by one Anthandiwe, the department ends by advising the journalist to investigate the Grindrod Bank shareholding: “You may also check the shareholders of Grindrod and see if this Minister is not on the right track”.

The full media statement by the department correcting the lie in the Michael Hulley story that it didn’t respond is here:

Could it be that the question raised at the end of the department’s response had the potential to not only embarrass Johann Rupert in particular, and other shareholders linked to former finance minister Trevor Manuel, but more importantly, give credence to the notion of a state captured by white monopoly capitalists? Rupert, one of the richest men on the continent,  is also the biggest shareholder of Grindrod Bank which banks SASSA’s billions. Ironically, last year Rupert reportedly said he doesn’t do any business with the state because he doesn’t trust it and this deal here exemplifies exactly how he does his business with the state. DSD and SASSA have a deal with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) which in turn has a deal with Grindrod.  

Like the collective amnesia that has so become a feature of South Africa, commercial media – which protect interests of capitalists – have gone into overdrive in an attempt to divorce their masters from the recently “coined” concept of state capture. Such is their desperation that they are downplaying white monopoly capitalists’ dominance in the economy to a point of renouncing their existence altogether. 

The strategy has been two-pronged. A smear campaign against those whose narrative has placed Rupert and rightly so, as the face of white monopoly capitalists and exposed them as beneficiaries of state funds (till today) and looters of ordinary citizens through their illegal cartel conduct which includes price-fixing. The other has been to polish-up the image of Rupert whose tobacco company leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth not to mention the blackened lungs and deaths that follow.

Until a year or so ago, the concept of WMC was a loose concept of some filthy-rich and corrupt people out there. There’s now a face and its owner – with his expansive media ownership – is trying hard to portray himself as a victim of a campaign orchestrated by the Guptas to distract attention from their “state capture” allegations.

In what resembled a scene from dictator Idi Amin’s ceremony honouring his six-year old son for having supported him, the Sunday Times last year, unearthed Rupert from his ‘hideout’ and honoured him with an award – Lifetime Achievement Award – no less. There are endless articles on Rupert’s great contribution to the country. By the end of last year, Atul Guptas had allegedly outstripped his decades of wealth. Some on Twitter saw straight through the articles. Sentletse of the EFF tweeted on 11 December 2016: “How is Atul Gupta the richest ‘black’ South African with R10bn when Motsepe is worth more than $2bn (+R28 bn)? Sunday Times must respect us”. 

The Sunday Times’ decision not to publish the response and instead lie that the ministry had not responded is curious! Having read the latest defence by Sunday Times of Johann Rupert, it is clear, that it’s decision not to publish the DSD’s response was self-serving.



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  1. The attempt by Sabelo Sikiti to try to avoid the real issue and ask stupid questions about a retwitt shows how far reporters of Sunday Times are willing to lay their careers on the line for the masters. We can’t thank platforms like Uncensored to keep us informed about true stories. Sunday Times can go to the nearest lake to kill themselves.

    1. Dear Rastehlo

      Thanks for reminding me. I have been meaning to reprint the journalist’s questions. You have to feel deep pain for him to ask such blatantly stupid questions which only expose for whom they were meant to satisfy. How can an entire newspaper dedicate questions to how many times Manyi retweeted retweeted the images of Ferial Haffajee and Vytjie Mentor with Rupert? Shame man. Ke sono.



  2. This newspaper is bad news to our democracy. It shows how far it’s willing to go to protect the real benefactors of our state funds. They were so ruthless towards Guptas knowing very well they are protecting their masters. That’s why the issue of state capture only reflect the involvement of Guptas which was also aided by their Thuli Madonsela who didn’t want to broaden the investigation. It also shows how biased that woman was in her investigations. It’s just good she’s gone from that position where she actually thought she’s bigger than everybody.

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