Vavi lashes out at political elites’ lavish parties

2010-10-27 15:54

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leader Zwelinzima Vavi says lavish parties thrown by political elites are a spit on the face of the poor.

Vavi was reacting to a City Press story that told how businessman Kenny Kunene splurged R700?000 on his 40th birthday bash at a luxurious Sandton hotel last week.

The newspaper published a photograph showing sushi being served on the body of a half-naked young woman and Kunene posing with ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and Zizi Kodwa, who is the spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma.

Speaking at a conference of Cosatu and its civil society partners, Vavi said such parties made his stomach “turn”.

“The corrupting (of the) morality (of) our public representatives is seen in these parties… It is the sight of these parties where the elite display their wealth, often secured in questionable methods, that turn my stomach.

It is the spitting on the face of the poor and insulting their integrity that makes me sick,” he said.

The conference – which was attended by representatives of organisations like the Treatment Action Campaign, SA Council of Churches and Amnesty International – did not feature delegates from its political allies in the ANC and the South African Communist Party, fuelling speculation that the labour federation was planning to form its own political party.

Vavi dismissed speculation that Cosatu intended to set up its own political party, something he put down to the “panic in the ranks of the predatory elite”.

The two-day conference was expected to focus on service delivery and strategies to combat corruption.

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