There is no denying that South African billionaire Elon Musk has become quite the trailblazer on Silicon Valley, but his critics have always been quick to remind us that he is hardly a rags to riches story. Despite his impressive successes, Musk was the son of a prominent engineer – but one claim that continues hanging over his head if that his father, Errol, owned an emerald mine and also benefitted financially from the apartheid regime.
The narrative of Elon Musk’s wealth coming from his family’s apartheid gains is one that started a few years ago when Business Insider wrote an article highlighting the Musk family’s involvement in mining during SA’s apartheid years.
ELON MUSK’S MOTHER SETS RECORD STRAIGHT
While Elon Musk has previously addressed claims that his father owned an emerald mine, the subject was brought up once again by his mother, Maye, who was reacting to an article by CBS News about it. If what the Musk matriarch has said is anything to go by, not only did the family not own a mine, but they were also anything but rich.
Musk’s mother says she knew nothing about having apparently raised her children with silver spoons in their mouths and owning a mine until she read about it on Twitter just a decade ago. According to her, they lived in a “rent-controlled” apartment, which is probably meant to imply they weren’t as wealthy as some had believed they were.
Maye was married to Errol Musk and the couple had three children, including Elon. The couple was married until 1979, after which Maye decided to move to Canada with her children and build her own business as a dietitian.