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15 Feb 2013 11:38
Patrice and Precious Motsepe. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
It's a strange world we live in. Even Alice in her Wonderland would probably be taken aback by the Mail & Guardian Business lead, "Billion-dollar brother: Motsepe spreads the love" and the editorial "Motsepe's hard act to follow" (both February 1).
The love that has created such excitement is Patrice Motsepe's intention to give away half of his income.
Left entirely unasked, however, is how the mining magnate amassed a net fortune of more than R20-billion and, moreover, did so in less than 20 years, from his humble beginnings as a (would-be) capitalist who had no capital.
This is not to deny that Motsepe is at least a bit different from other obscenely rich mining magnates. My focus is not on Motsepe the individual but rather on our dominant values. What sort of society fails to ask how an individual can possibly spend R20-billion? What sort of society applauds the Motsepes of the world while condemning mineworkers for their "greed" and lack of "patriotism" when they demand a living wage? – Dr Jeff Rudin, Cape Town
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