Sunday, December 5, 2010
One of Johannesburg’s premiere venues, ZAR, hosted its owner Kenny Majozi Kunene’s birthday party last week. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi attacked the event at a Cosatu conference saying that it promoted greed and corruption. Zwelinzima Vavi said that parties like Kunene’s were part of the reasons society was corrupt and throwing such event was immoral and disregarded poor people.
Here is Kenny Kunene’s response, verbatim, to the Zwelinzima Vavi’s attack:
Dear Mr Vavi
Unlike you, who did not address me directly in your comments to the media, I was still clearly your target. I will therefore be less cowardly in what I know is my right to respond and make it clear that you, Mr Zwelinzima Vavi, are my target.
There is definitely corruption in South Africa; there is cronyism, nepotism, bribery and everything else that rolls off Your tongue like a rap sheet from a police printer. There’s so much of it, in fact, that I can only wonder why you suddenly feel the need to talk about one birthday party as if it has anything to do with your particular form of social revolution or the principles of the struggle. I am a businessman. I’ve never benefited from any BEE deal, I’ve never applied for nor won a tender and I do no work for government. I am grateful that my businesses are successful and they allow me to buy the same things that others may have had to be corrupt to buy – but just because a corrupt official bought a sports car, and I have bought sports cars, does not imply that I am also corrupt. Such thinking is immature and completely unreflective. It’s like saying that because Jeffrey Dahmer wore jeans while eating his victims, then I must also be a cannibal because I own several pairs of jeans.
I do however own ZAR Lounge where I threw my 40th birthday party. I had every right to throw whatever party I felt like there, and invite whomever I pleased. What they thought of what was supposed to be a spectacle is entirely their own business. I wanted my 40th birthday to be a memorable event and to celebrate it in style.
If you care so much for the poor, then why don’t you stop wearing your high-collar designer shirts with the button on the collar, why don’t you sell your house and live in a shack, why don’t you stop meeting in top class restaurants to hold court on the suffering of the masses? Why don’t you follow the example of a true man of principle, Mahatma Gandhi, who did exactly that? If you want to be the President of the ANC one day then don’t use me as a cheap way to score political points. I’m not your political pawn in a game that is much higher than chess.