Billionaire Elon Musk’s father Errol Musk. Image: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP.

Behind the billions: Errol Musk’s net worth, scandals and more

From impregnating his stepdaughter to the emerald mine, here’s what we know about Elon Musk’s South African father Errol Musk.


Billionaire Elon Musk’s father Errol Musk. Image: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP.

South African-born billionaire Elon Musk has made a name for himself as the world’s wealthiest man. His companies — Tesla and Space X — have helped him build an impressive net worth of $179 billion (R3 trillion) — according to Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index. People across the world know his name, but not many know his background.

Elon is the son of Errol and Maye Musk.

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Over the years, information around South African-born billionaire Elon Musk has trickled out but a lot of his early beginnings remain a big mystery to many. Elon Musk still has both parents — South African engineer Errol and model Maye.

But who is Errol Musk?

Errol Graham Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1946 to Walter Henry James and Cora Amelia Robinson. Errol attended Clapham High School before going to the University of Pretoria to complete an electromechanical engineering qualification.

After establishing himself as a businessman, sailor and pilot, Errol met Canadian model and dietician Maye Haldeman. The two got married and soon welcomed their firstborn Elon Musk on 28 June 1971. A year later, the couple welcomed their second son, Kimbal. In 1974, the pair welcomed a daughter named Tosca.

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Trouble soon started brewing and only five years later – in 1979 – the couple got divorced and shared split custody of their three children. He then met widow Heide-Mari who he later married and welcomed daughters Alexandra “Ali” Musk and Asha “Rose” Musk.

In the meantime, Errol was building his wealth as a prominent engineer and entrepreneur. He was also severing relationships with his children who later went on to describe him as a horrible and controlling individual.

In her memoir written years later, Maye described Errol as both physically and emotionally abusive.


Over the years there have been whispers that Elon grew up privileged because of his father’s big emerald mine. The Space X billionaire squashed those rumours in a 2019 tweet where he clarified that he worked his own way through college. He also said that the rumours were “BS”.

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“He didn’t own an emerald mine & I worked my way through college, ending up ~$100k in student debt. I couldn’t even afford a 2nd PC at Zip2, so programmed at night & the website only worked during the day. Where is this bs coming from?”

They were not completely unfounded though because according to, Errol did own a few shares in an emerald mine in Zambia. Most of his money came from being an engineering consultant and a real-estate developer.


Elon’s relationship with Errol became even more strained after Errol fathered a child with his stepdaughter Jana Bezuidenhout. Errol initially denied fathering the child but paternity tests forced him to admit that he had started a relationship with Jana after she broke up with her boyfriend.

Errol was 72 and Jana was 30 when their son Elliot Rush was born. Errol and Jana’s mother got divorced shortly after the scandal hit.

ALSO READ: Jana: Who is the stepdaughter Errol Musk impregnated?


Errol has long since retired from the engineering business and now reportedly lives a quiet life in the Western Cape in South Africa. He has a net worth of $2 million (R35 million) and is living quite comfortably.

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