ANC: Exclusive birthday banquet

2010-01-11 00:00

KIMBERLEY — The exclusive drinks at sky-high prices and shiny new vehicles at the ANC’s 98th birthday banquet in Galeshewe made for a sharp contrast with the poverty in the shacks just around the corner in this township.

The most expensive drinks at Friday night’s “gala dinner” at the Mayibuye Centre were Royal Salute and Johnny Walker Blue whisky, on sale at R2 700 per bottle. Single tots were not available.

Then there was the 16-year-old Lagavulin at R1 600, and 15-year-old Glenfiddich at R1 500. Other types of hard tack sold at over R1 000 per bottle, according to the price list on the banquet tables. The Glenfiddich was also available at R45 a tot.

Other types of drinks were available at R950, R850 and R800 per bottle, or R30 a tot.

The many members of cabinet and the legislature at the banquet could also order wine and champagne. The price list had champagnes Veuve Cliquot at R950, Moët Rose Imperial, Tattinger and Mumm at R900, and Moët Brut Imperial at R850.

For the not-so-flashy politicians, there was also JC le Roux at R120 per bottle. The wines on the list were Nederburg Baronne and Nederburg Lyric, both at R120 per bottle. Beer and soft drinks cost R15.

At a glance, it seemed the higher ranking ANC members, and also the media, were satisfied with the one bottle of red wine from Oranjerivier Cellars that was placed on every table. Yet on the steamy Northern Cape night, free bottled water from the kitchen proved to be the most popular quencher.

Outside the multi-purpose centre, the luxury “off-road vehicles” including Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW, mostly rented, stood in neat rows.

A mere stone’s throw from the centre is one of the poorest parts of Galeshewe, where people battle to survive in dingy shacks.

Rowdies near the centre — on the township’s noisiest night of the week — were kept in check by police.

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