ANCYL welcomes Kunene's about turn
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League on Wednesday welcomed businessman Kenny Kunene's commitment to stop serving sushi off women's bodies.
ANCYL president Julius Malema was present at Kunene's birthday bash last year and the pre-opening of his Cape Town nightclub ZAR this weekend. At both events sushi was served off the bodies of scantily clad women.
"The ANCYL had [on] more than one occasion disapproved of such practice in the past and publicly voiced our disapproval," league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.
He said the league, along with the ANC, would "continue to speak openly against practices that have potential to undermine the ethos of our revolution".
No more sushi parties
Following objections by the Africa National Congress, Kunene sent a letter to local media saying he would not hold any more sushi parties in future.
"I will not be throwing or attending any further such sushi parties as I have nothing but respect for the leadership of the ANC and the guiding principles of the movement," The Star newspaper quoted him as saying in a statement.
He was responding to outrage triggered by photographs of him eating sushi off the semi-naked body of a model in Cape Town on Saturday night.
It was Kunene's version of the ancient Japanese custom of Nyotaimori or "body sushi". The model at Kunene's party was draped across the bonnet of a white Maserati.
ANCYL leader Julius Malema was quoted as saying at the party: "Helen Zille will not close ZAR at 02;00, like she does [to] other night clubs in Cape Town. The ANC owns ZAR and we will party until the morning."
ANC not into nightclubbing
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe then distanced the ruling party from the comments.
"The ANC is not into nightclubs or partying, but is a revolutionary movement," he said in a statement.
Last year, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi lashed out at "the BEE types who blow up to R700 000 in one night on parties", describing them as the "predatory elite".
"It is the sight of these parties, where the elite display their wealth, often secured by questionable methods, that turns my stomach," Vavi reportedly said, referring to Kunene's 40th birthday bash at his Johannesburg nightclub.
Kunene said he should not have to defend what he spent on a party to celebrate a milestone in his life. It was "honest money and we were having honest fun".
In a statement on Wednesday, Cosatu in Gauteng said neither the ANCYL nor the ANC Women's League issued a statement on the practice last year when Vavi criticised it.
ANCWL advised to press charges
"The saga also demonstrates the correctness of the decision by the disciplinary committee of the ANC to subject some to political education in order for them to comprehend that [the] national democratic revolution is not only about national question but it also involve the class and gender question," Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said in a statement.
"The political school should also entail teaching such comrades about the values and principles of our struggle."
Malema was sent to a disciplinary hearing last year and ordered to attend "political school".
Dakile said he supported the ANCWL finally speaking out on the matter and calling for the practice to come to an end. The ANCWL should "press charges" against those involved, he said.