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Rupert tells of Zuma attempt to smear him

Publish date: 03 December 2018
Issue Number: 802
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Businessman Johann Rupert claims former President Jacob Zuma used five agencies and private detectives overseas to ‘get dirt’ on him after he called for Zuma’s axing in 2016, notes a Business Day report. Speaking to shareholders at investment firm Remgro’s annual general meeting on Thursday, Rupert said he has been following the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and has been ‘shocked’ by its disclosures. Zuma’s spokesperson and lawyer did not respond to queries on Rupert’s allegations, says the report. It notes that in 2016, after his calls for Zuma to step down, Rupert was singled out in a social media campaign directed by UK-based spin doctors Bell Pottinger, under contract from the Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments. The campaign was believed to be an attempt to deflect attention from state-capture allegations involving the Gupta family and their influence over Zuma. At the time, Bell Pottinger, which went bankrupt after the nature of its involvement with Oakbay and its campaigns for the Guptas came to light, had worked for several years for Rupert’s renowned luxury goods business, Richemont.

Full Business Day report