Derek Hanekom Brews Trouble After Suggesting Elon Musk Share His Wealth With South Africa

He said Hanekom was usually quiet when white people were told they are “settlers”. “Trouble is, Derek Hanekom, we've got your party, CR [Cyril Ramaphosa] and crowds of demagogues telling 'whites' they're settlers, land thieves, must go back to Europe, etc. And you are silent. You can't have it both ways,”

Derek Hanekom Brews Trouble After Suggesting Elon Musk Share His Wealth With South Africa-SurgeZirc SA
Derek Hanekom/Photo File: BusinessLive

Elon Musk’s riches and global business success have seen ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom catching smoke after he uttered a suggestion that the billionaire should invest in “the land of his birth”.

The former ANC minister and stalwart of the party was reacting to the news that Pretoria-born Elon Musk is now the second-richest person in the world. Elon Musk left Mzansi at a young age to pursue his tech career in the US. He rose through the ranks in ‘Silicone Valley’, establishing himself as a major force in the engineering industry.

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He’s spent almost his entire adult life in the US, becoming a naturalised citizen in the process, and his ties to SA have been all but completely severed.

Now worth $128 billion – which is roughly R1.9 trillion – Musk is only surpassed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in the wealth stakes. He’s overtaken Bill Gates on the mega-rich list, as his Tesla stock continues to skyrocket.

Hanekom, who used to lead the Tourism Ministry, said though the news of Musk’s riches was great, it would be wonderful if he shared some of his wealth with SA. “Of course we celebrate his success. Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if he ploughs back some of that wealth into the land of his birth,” Hanekom wrote.

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Hanekom’s comment was quickly met with salt by many on social media, including DA MP Cameron MacKenzie. MacKenzie said Hanekom’s “the land of his birth” statement was “troubling”.

He said Hanekom was usually quiet when white people were told they are “settlers”. “Trouble is, Derek Hanekom, we’ve got your party, CR [Cyril Ramaphosa] and crowds of demagogues telling ‘whites’ they’re settlers, land thieves, must go back to Europe, etc. And you are silent. You can’t have it both ways,” said MacKenzie.

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