Convicts ‘can hold office’

2013-12-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — According to the Constitution, any convicted criminal who had completely served his or her sentence more than five years ago, may make themselves available for a political post.

But businessman Kenny Kunene, also known as the “sushi king”, said neither he nor his friend Gayton McKenzie will stand for election.

The two yesterday launched a new political party, the Patriotic Alliance (PA), in Paarl.

Kunene yesterday said he and McKenzie, respectively the secretary-general and president of the party, want to work behind the scenes to expand the party.

Constitutional expert Professor Pierre de Vos said Article 47 (e) was written so that people will bear in mind anyone can rehabilitate.

Kunene said there were people who were better qualified than McKenzie and himself. He said they should represent the party on local and national levels.

This was why the party’s leaders had decided to nominate Shirley-Ann Mouton (39), an official in the Cederberg Municipality, as their premier candidate, he said.

Kunene said Mouton was outspoken and someone who would fight for the rights of the oppressed.

Mouton yesterday said she was keen on the challenge, adding that she was tired that coloured people were still getting the short end of the stick in the ANC’s “colour game”.

The Independent Electoral Commission states that the PA has been registered to compete in next year’s national elections.

Kunene said people kept fixating on their criminal records.

“Yes, we were in prison, but we served our sentences and we are now businessmen who want to plough back into our communities,” he said.

It also emerged over the weekend that former gang leader Rashied Staggie is a registered member of the PA.

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