Chairman of Remgro Limited Johann Rupert. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).
Billionaire businessman Johann Rupert has ruffled more feathers by claiming that he had developed a “relationship” with Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, who died while being held in detention by the apartheid police in 1977.

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) on Monday said Biko never even met Rupert and they have records of the Struggle icon, which will back this up.

The apparent meeting is contained in a book, The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaires’ Club by Pieter du Toit.

In a review by Du Toit himself, Rupert allegedly met Biko in 1970, while he was in Stellenbosch during a South African Students’ Organisation (Saso) conference. He claimed that he struck up a “relationship” with the black consciousness leader, who died on September 12, 1977, after being assaulted by police in a holding cell, in Port Elizabeth.

“Biko was in Stellenbosch to attend a conference of the Saso. We met one day and we continued talking until very late. I told him that if I were a black man, I would also be a Pan Africanist. I would also be a member of the PAC, not the ANC. We agreed that there could be no peace in the country unless there was a deal between white nationalists and black nationalists,” reads an excerpt from the book quoting Rupert. Rupert’s claim has angered the PAC, which has accused him of trying “to distort and rewrite history”.

Speaking to Independent Media yesterday, the party’s president Narius Moloto angrily said they have no records of such a meeting, especially as this would have been a high-profile meeting and would have been recorded in Biko’s diary or in the internal history annals of the PAC.

Moloto said at the very least, Biko would have at least spoken about it to those close to him.

Political Bureau