MISTAKEN IDENTITY New Johnnic chairman Cyril Ramaphosa describes Rembrandt's Johann Rupert as one of his closest business confidants. At last month's Business Times Top 100 Companies banquet Ramaphosa recounted Rupert's reaction to the news that he was joining Nail: "Welcome to the ruling class".
Just to add insult to injury, Ramaphosa was introduced as a former president of the Mineworkers' Union, an extremely conservative, white-dominated union. We wonder who was more offended - Ramaphosa or the MWU.
SMOKING MAD On matters Rembrandt. Rupert has recently been acknowledged for his business acumen as well as his diplomacy in dealing with members of the Cabinet. Purely out of interest, and not out of any bias towards the tobacco industry (the Sunday Times has a non-smoking policy), we would like to list some of the facts published by Rembrandt on the tobacco advertising row:
OOPS . . . NO FUEL Our Briefcase last week on Ivor Jones, Roy's Xmas party at the SA National Museum of Military History and the "shot-down" Messerschmitt provoked an interesting response by the museum. Besides rightly pointing out that there is no connection between them and the Zoo, apart from a common fence, the museum also recounts the story of the ill-fated plane:
"The Messerschmitt Bf 109 made a forced landing in Britain in November 1940 as a result of pilot error (failure to watch his fuel gauge!) and not as a result of battle damage. The sole damage to the aircraft, apart from the effect of a wheels-up landing, is where the port wing collided with the cottage on the farm where if finally came to rest."
INJURY TIME "Why won't the Cosatu soccer team make it to the World Cup Final?" asked Cosatu's Ebrahim Patel in a moment of disarming self-mockery at a get-together of the National Economic Forum old boys last week. "Because an injury to one is an injury to all." And how do you make a public servant laugh on a Monday? You tell him a joke on a Friday.
SUNNY SKIES The latest edition of the Investor's Chronicle, a respected UK financial weekly, carries an extremely critical survey on South Africa. But it ends with a quote from "one empowerment company director", which is quite a nice summation of how the few remaining optimists view this country: "The rainbow may have faded a bit, but we've still got the sunshine."