Annoyed SAs speak: Seriously, leave Johann Rupert alone!

Earlier this month, BizNews shared a Bloomberg article which stated that Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic in Switzerland. The article said Rupert’s actions had ‘sparked a controversy in the country about who should get inoculated first’ as the South African billionaire received the shot at Hirslanden AG – which is owned by Mediclinic International – a hospital operator the Rupert family has invested in through Remgro.

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger said Rupert was one of 12 test patients in Thurgau shortly before vaccinations were offered to the wider public on 12 January.

“Rupert’s wealth and connection to Hirslanden raised concern that he got preferential treatment and jumped the line as the vast majority of the Swiss elderly and high-risk population still wait for the shot,” the article reads. Nina Schlaefli, a Socialist politician, later said in a tweet that “this is an affront to all Thurgau residents who have been waiting for a vaccination appointment for weeks.”

Read also: Inside Covid-19: Johann Rupert denies jumping queue; what vaccine ‘apartheid’ means for SA, the world

Rupert, whose family has committed R1bn to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund to support small businesses and save jobs, said his physician arranged the vaccination because he is 70 and has co-morbidities as defined by Swiss law. He also said that he has been a Swiss taxpayer since the start of Richemont 31 years ago, and that Richemont’s executive committee decided in December that management would get vaccinated as early as possible to set an example for its employees.

The resounding response from BizNews readers is, ‘So, what?!’

Rupert Facebook comment

Rupert Facebook comment

“All the non-taxpayers flapping their lips about this country’s biggest taxpayer,” says

If you can get a vaccine, get it. One less to worry about. Rather catch and jail all the comrades who have stolen the money which should have been available to buy vaccines for the comrades.”

Rupert Facebook comment

“The first doses should obviously go to frontline workers, the emergency workers, the 5,000 largest employers, the 5,000 biggest tax payers, the contributors to the solidarity fund and other useful citizens, excluding politicians,” comments

Rupert Facebook comment

“Political activists should stop whining about Mr Rupert obtaining the vaccine to which he is entitled, and start to investigate and take action against the ANC/EFF government for not doing what they are mandated to do. I shall not take the shot yet but the vaccines are effective and seem to be very safe so everyone who is at risk for complications of the Chinese Virus should consider having a jab or two. This is impossible in South Africa because of government incompetence and corruption. It is quite possible that in this state of panic stoked up by the same government the populace will realise that since the tumbrils are not in use transporting vaccines they can just as easily be used to transport politicians,” writes

Read also: How the vaccine production industry can be developed in SA

Rupert Facebook comment

‘…tallest trees catch the most wind…’ Afrikaans saying: ‘Hoogste bome vang die meeste wind’… Those most influential and successful beings will always be criticised, rightly or wrongly so. As an ex-employee, I only have the highest respect for the Ruperts. Have as many jabs as you want, Johann… still months before we will have a chance here in SA… Btw, look at his false accuser: Nina Schlaefli, a Socialist politician… what else can we expect…?”

I think the media picking on or trying to make a story out of this is in extremely poor taste. Seems the media always needs sensationalism in everything they do.”

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