EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu spent an afternoon at an exclusive wine estate in Stellenbosch discussing potential business plans with one of South Africa’s richest men, Johann Rupert.In the past, the EFF labelled Rupert “the enemy” and named him as the face of white monopoly capital (WMC) who had become rich by exploiting poor black South Africans, a view Shivambu told News24 he shared.Despite the party and Shivambu’s ideological stance, over an expensive lunch at the exclusive Tokara wine estate, he asked Remgro chair Rupert and the founder of FirstRand Bank, Gerrit “GT” Ferreira, for assistance to build a hospital in Limpopo.Afterward, Shivambu accompanied the CEO of Remgro, Jannie Durand, to the Remgro-owned Fleur du Cap wine estate.These revelations of Shivambu’s secret rendezvous with Rupert, whom the party has vilified in the past, are contained in a new book by News24 assistant editor Pieter du Toit titled The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaire’s Club.Du Toit delves deep into a world almost exclusively occupied by the country’s richest men.The book promises to reveal who these fabulously wealthy individuals are and what influence they exert not only on Stellenbosch, but more broadly, on South African society.Du Toit also reveals how Shivambu, one of the most vociferous critics of white capital, is apparently far closer to Rupert than he would have the country believe.Shivambu, when approached on Saturday, did not directly deny the Tokara meeting to News24, but denied having a relationship with Rupert.On Saturday, Shivambu emphatically denied the EFF had ever received money from Rupert. Instead, he deflected, saying the revelations were an attempt to detract from the fact Ramaphosa had received donations from Rupert.”Absolutely, yes,” Shivambu told News24 in a text message, but denied ever seeking or receiving money from “Rupert or anyone in Stellenbosch”.Shivambu also denied providing Rupert with information on the inner workings of the ANC and denied pushing him to do the Mkhari interview.When asked if he could specifically deny meeting Rupert and Ferreira at Tokara and the subsequent trip to Fleur du Cap, Shivambu would only deny he was involved in a project to build a hospital.Instead, he railed against this journalist, accusing him of being “handled” by Rupert.”All white capitalists are enemies of the people and all their wealth is ill-gotten and that includes Rupert. I have no business relationship with him and I am not in business,” Shivambu said.Asked whether he had been in contact with Rupert since the meeting at Tokara, he said: “I, on February 21, 2018, responded to a Signal text message from a person who said he is Rupert and was objecting to my speech in Parliament.”The text I sent, and which I still have on my phone said, ‘We are not and have never claimed to be your friends. Your ill-gotten wealth, which was accumulated because you are white and because there was apartheid has to be challenged’,” Shivambu said.Signal is an encrypted messaging application for smartphones, much like WhatsApp.Stellenbosch Mafia, published by Jonathan Ball, is out this week.https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/effs-floyd-shivambu-and-the-secret-rupert-rendezvous-20190720
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