Vavi told to 'go to hell'
Liesl Peyper, Die Burger
Cape Town - Business tycoon Kenny Kunene on Thursday launched a seething attack on Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, after Vavi criticised his lavish birthday party.
"Vavi, go hang or go to hell," Kunene wrote in an open letter.
Vavi had slated Kunene's luxurious lifestyle at a conference in Boksburg on Wednesday, referring specifically to a "R700 000" birthday party Kunene held to celebrate his 40th birthday, during which sushi was served on the bodies of half-naked women.
ANC top brass including youth league leader Julius Malema and presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa were among the guests.
Insult to the poor
Vavi said this new elite sets a poor example and is an insult to the poor. "It makes me sick," he added.
Kunene said on Thursday in response to Vavi's comments that he would like to "correct your misapprehension that my party cost R700 000. It cost more".
He said Vavi should be ashamed of himself for aiming his attacks at "aspiring young people" who happen to be millionaires.
"You are opposed to successful young people - whether the success is political or financial success. You make me sick."
Vavi on Thursday refused to comment on Kunene's letter. "I won't be drawn in. Who is he?"
However, Vavi later said: "I can't roll around in the mud with a pig. One would never win."
Vavi's lavish wedding
According to Kunene, Vavi begrudges young people's success, and also has "enough experience" of a luxurious lifestyle.
"Two years ago you had a lavish wedding with horse-drawn carriages no less. If you are really so concerned about the poor, why don't you stop wearing designer shirts? Why don't you sell your house and go and live in a shack?"
Kunene, who admits in the letter that he has clashed with the law in the past, also said when young people see him and hear his life story, they see a true alternative to crime.
"Just have a look at my Facebook profile if you want proof."
Vavi should also not expect an invitation to Kunene's next party, stated the letter.
"I'm not a worker and you represent the working class. Therefore my party is certainly not the place for you. But you were more than willing to attend (billionaire) Robert Gumede's R50m wedding. You went without complaint, so must we conclude that lavish parties are okay, as long as you are invited to them?"