Tag Archives: ANC

Kenny Kunene’s open letter to Jacob Zuma

Herewith the open letter by Kenny Kunene to President Jacob Zuma, as posted in today’s The Star newspaper.

Dear President Jacob Zuma…

I’m writing this because I’ve never been more disappointed with the ANC you lead. I was once your fervent supporter, I attended some of those night vigils during your trials, and, like many, I believed you would be the force for change the youth and the poor desperately need in our country. Like many others, I donated to your cause when I was called on, and allowed my facilities to be used for ANC and Youth League meetings, sometimes for unusual meetings where your political comeback was planned.

You may wonder what qualifies me to make any kind of political comment. As everyone knows, I’m just a socialite and a businessman, but it’s also no secret I am a hobbyhorse for politicians to ride whenever they want to criticise “crass materialism” and the decay of morals. It’s true, I like to spend, and I’m not an angel, but unlike politicians I’m not spending taxpayers’ money. My real point is that, as a socialite and a businessman, I meet many people, including politicians. When they speak to your face, Mr President, they tell you your imperial clothes are very stylish. When they talk to me, and feel they are safe from your army of spies, most of them admit that you, the emperor, have no clothes.

The Gupta issue alone should be the last straw for many South Africans. But the extent of how much the Gupta family controls you, and by implication this country, has not even begun to be understood. It’s amazing how terrified most people in the ANC are to speak about this reality, because they truly fear you. Even if you’re not in government, tenders are used to inspire fear among people of influence. Thank God my livelihood is not dependent on tenders. I’ll save you the trouble of trying to find out if I have any tenders so you can cut me out of them. I don’t have any.

You show no loyalty even to those who kept you out of prison. After the Shaiks and Julius Malema, the Guptas must know that you can drop them faster than they could drop your name. In your quest for self-preservation, you have become heartless.

The reason I supported you and your campaign is because you were marketed to us as someone who would unify us and get rid of the politics of fear, but today there’s more fear and more division in the ANC than ever before. In public you smile and laugh, but in truth you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies ruthlessly, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly. We’d have had yet another Cabinet reshuffle if your wings had not been clipped a little in Mangaung.

Of course, I am not so naive as to blame everything regrettable that happens in the ANC on you. But in my home province, the Free State, the premier, Ace Magushule, imitates your behaviour and even seems to be trying to outdo you in being entangled with the Guptas. He learnt it from you. He thinks its okay to blow R40-million (or R140-million, others say) on a website. It’s not a great website either, by the way. When even your Kenny Kunenes start thinking a guy is wasting money shamelessly, you should know how bad it is. Of course, we’d all like to know where that money really went.

This is not what the ANC is or should be. We thought it was bad enough with the Shaiks – but who could have predicted your, and therefore our, wholesale nationalisation by the Guptas?

Even your immediate community, your neighbours in Nkandla, have to walk past your ridiculously overpriced palace donated to you by a once-unsuspecting public, knowing how you have your own private clinic they cannot use and their children must play in the dusty streets among the stones, while your compound has an astroturf sports field that cost the taxpayer R3.5-million and costs R100 000 a month to maintain. How is fake grass a part of security upgrades?

Everyone knows the Public Protector’s report will find damning evidence of what went on there – but something must be said now already, in case you find a way to shut her up too.

It’s no wonder the ANC lost the vote in Nkandla. If the people who know you best, the place you are from and where you occupy tribal land, do not trust you enough to vote for you, why should the rest of us?

This ANC is no longer the ANC of John Langa Dube, Oliver Tambo and other illustrious names. I’m also getting tired of hearing about how the ANC is bigger than any individual.

There are those who are stubbornly loyal to the ANC, as if it’s some kind of marriage, who keep the faith that some day the party will return to its roots. But even if they’re my friends, I can’t enthusiastically join in with the declarations of those who say they will die in coffins wrapped in ANC colours, no matter what, as my former business partner Gayton McKenzie once said to me.

Mr President, I don’t want to be one of those who tell you in fear that you have clothes on, when it’s obvious you are completely exposed. I know the dogs will be set on me for saying this, but you have been naked for longer than most of us were willing to admit. And you’re now stripping the ANC of the last shred of its integrity. The world laughs at us.

I love the ANC, or what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t love your ANC. For those of us who care, the question now is, as Vladimir Lenin asked: “What is to be done?”

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Effective Representation

I haven’t registered to vote in the 2011 municipal elections. There- I’ve said it!

Here’s the thing: I haven’t registered which means I can’t vote. If I don’t vote, it means I don’t have a say in the running of the municipal area I live in. And what really irks me is that the statistics will count me as another apathetic member of civil society. Dear Jacob Zuma and the Independent Electoral Commission, am I apathetic if I don’t have a party which represents my interests?

In order of preference…

Cope: I think we can close the coffin; the sight and stench of a dead corps is unbearable. Even the media is bored of reporting on the he said- he said fiasco.  Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota we appreciate your 8 years in prison in aid of a free South Africa. Your work in the United Democratic Front as well as the ANC remains admirable. The same sentiments go towards Mbhazima Shilowa and Lynda Odendaal. Many of us had hoped Cope was going to bring together a fragmented opposition atmosphere. Alas, they have followed the protocol of many break- away parties: how to fail before the next elections.

DA: To be honest, I have nothing against the Democratic Alliance. They are doing their part in demanding decisive action from President Jacob Zuma. DA policy places job creation and economic growth as a top priority. They have built a reputation around transparency and accountability and let’s face it, Helen Zilla is a Cougar (without a cub). However, even in politics, I like the idea of women representing women. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma (Minster of Home Affairs), Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya (Former Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities) and Edna Molewa (Former Minister of Social Development) are a few names that come to mind as an example of this. I do understand that women in politics have the constant pressure of balancing the masculine rules of the game whilst representing and transforming gender rights and equality.

ANC: Lunch is at 13.00, where’s my food parcel? No seriously, if there’s a cheese platter, some cranberry tea, BBQ chicken wings and some roasted vegetables tossed in rosemary and olive oil- I might just change my mind. Firstly, I was crushed when Mbeki was ousted from power after the Polokwane conference in 2008. I watched Mbeki transfer his powers through a handshake to a dancer/ singer wearing a brown leather jacket (Ntate Zuma). Secondly, I hate the Socialist façade. The fraud, bribery, abolishment of the Scorpions and wasteful expenditure on conferences, cars and luxury hotels kind of gives you away guys! Lastly, thank you to Gwede Mantashe for clearing up that eating sushi off a model is “politically incorrect”. I think a lot of us weren’t sure, I personally thought of hosting a R700 000 party and inviting some businessmen and socialites to eat sushi off my chest.

Is it worth debating and unpacking the relevance of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Independent Democrats, Freedom Front Plus and other such registered political parties? Ag shame, I guess we can be proud that we have a multi-party political system. In the meanwhile, I’m looking for a party that will represent my interests.

PS. The State of the Nation Address is taking place tonight at 7pm

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