Johann Rupert, 69, is surviving the coronavirus lockdown shacked up with his extended family in Graaff-Reinet, the town where his father Anton was born in 1916. As far as a lockdown goes, it’s not exactly a hardship. Rupert’s views extend to the Camdeboo National Park, with its spiralling basalt cliffs set high over the Valley of Desolation, in the heart of the Karoo.

It’s the sort of serenity you’d want if you’re being forced to contemplate how the decades of slog spent expanding the empire your father created — in Johann Rupert’s case, building Remgro, assembling luxury goods company Richemont, and starting investment company Reinet — are being upended by a virus few saw coming...

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