Elon Musk dominates the news regularly, but despite intense media coverage of the world’s richest man, the beginnings of technology entrepreneurs in racist South Africa remain unclear.
Amid controversy over his possible takeover on Twitter, his father, Errol Musk, told AFP that he had raised his sons in a tough way, like “good South African boys”, creating harshness and discipline in them from an early age.
“I was a strict father. My word was law,” he confirmed, adding that Elon’s ambition was somewhat machoed voluntarily by this teaching. “It was our way of staying. We tried our best,” said the 76-year-old, with a smirk on his face and hair at his home at Langban’s seaside resort near Cape Town. . “It’s kind of our trademark.”
Elon Musk was born in Pretoria on June 28, 1971, to Errol, an engineer and real estate developer, and a Canadian model. To avoid unpopular military service, he left South Africa at the height of racism, as did many young people of that generation.
After the severe divorce of his parents, Elon lived mostly with his father. At the age of nine, “I saw him glowing at the station one morning, he got on a night train alone,” after leaving his mother’s house, Errol says.
– Prankster without filter –
Elon often spoke of an unhappy childhood. And in 2017, when Errol had a child with his ex-wife’s daughter, he distanced himself from his father, who was forty-two years old. “Elon didn’t find it well. I, I accept life as it comes,” Dad remarked, adding that their relationship has improved since that breaking point.
“We have affection for each other,” said Errol Musk. “I always remember how I was with my own dad. He was a soldier, we rarely talk. During lunch on Sunday, I said + hello dad +, he went to do his crossword puzzle.”
His relationship with Elon is “not that different,” he admits.
Elon Musk’s controversy and outrage, especially on Twitter, has become regular. But Errol says her son is always special. He was a “clever, playful kid” who volunteered to join the adult conversation. “Near the age of four, he was already settled” to hear the story of politics and business.
“One day, Elon announced that when he grows up, he will be a millionaire,” said his father, apparently happy. What a smiling adult, whom he described with a glass and a cigarette in hand, laughed and said that the “little one” might be disappointed. “Elon’s response was to answer him. + Well, I think you’re a fool.”
“General Elon”, commented Earl Mask. “His nature to tell people” is their four truths, without filters.
Father Elon also recalls a shocking remark made to one of his classmates, whose father had committed suicide. “That guy pushed her down the stairs,” Errol says, and Elon had to be hospitalized.
After the initial rage, “When I heard what Elon said, I realized he had crossed the line.” After the incident, Errol admitted her son to the prestigious Pretoria Boys High School.
– “Most Friendly” –
The billionaire donated 1 million rand (60,000 euros) to the school but insisted that in return, the organization would never mention her in its promotional material, developed by the South African press.
A former director told AFP: “It’s a non-fiction story. He actually paid twice but” so much has been written about him “, annoying the gentleman who insisted on not revealing his name.
He deals with Kasturi through his assistant. Her father also exchanged words with her through the same assistant.
Communication with Mask is strictly controlled – in addition to his generous tweeting. Yet Errol describes her as the “beloved” of her children.
During an AFP interview, what Errol said was an email from Elon offering to pay for a recent eye operation – another example of the son’s generosity, according to the father.
“Elon is very caring. It really means when he says he wants to save humanity. It’s not a slogan,” he thinks he knows.
The last time she saw her megastar son, who now lives in Texas, was six years ago when he was 70 years old. “I’m a South African man, I don’t care about my birthday but it was beautiful,” he said. Unbeknownst to her, Elon invited famous friends to Cape Town, including several Hollywood actresses.
The topic of Donald Trump was discussed during this luncheon. “I said then, ‘Yes, I support Trump,'” Errol said. “He’s a winner. Like me, Elon and (his brother) Kimble.”
strs / gs-sn-ger / emd / jhd