ANC could take legal steps against 'Sushi King'


But Kunene gave as much as he got, stating that Zuma was like a snake with a long tail that must be cut before he morphed “into an anaconda”.

Kunene also claimed that ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe bitterly criticised Zuma in private while acting as his supporter in public.

The businessman – also known as the “Sushi King” because of his penchant for sushi and attractive, half-clothed women – was speaking on the Gauteng radio station Kaya FM on Tuesday.

While Mantashe, and the ANC later in a statement, rejected the claims, controversial former ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu backed Kunene with an example.

He made the startling comment on Tuesday that Mantashe had told him that Zuma was a liability to the ANC, shortly after it emerged that the latter had fathered a child with Sonono Khoza out of wedlock.

“He did say to me that Jacob Zuma was a liability to the ANC,” Shivambu insisted.

But, he added, Mantashe could not find the courage of his conviction when given an opportunity to speak at a party meeting later.

And this, according to Shivambu, was because the ANC was gripped by fear of Zuma.

Kunene also reiterated his claims that Zuma was a smiling assassin – a disloyal tyrant and monster who ruthlessly pursued his enemies despite his broad smiles in public.

He added that he expected to be targeted by Zuma and the ANC.

Kunene’s comments incensed the ANC on Tuesday, with its spokesman Jackson Mthembu saying “a character called Kenny Kunene” wanted to sow division between Zuma and Mantashe, ostensibly to weaken the ANC ahead of the general election next year.

“The statement made that the secretary-general in private gatherings criticises the ANC president must never be accepted at face value.

“It is part of a campaign to divide the ANC leadership and weaken our organisation,” said Mthembu.

It is understood that the ruling party was considering suing Kunene for defamation and slander.

On Tuesday night, Mantashe called Kunene “mischievous”.

He said he did not take Kunene seriously because the socialite was somebody else’s “agent” and the “loudhailer” of Shivambu.

“I have never met Kenny Kunene anywhere. I have never talked to Kenny Kunene.

“For him to come to Kaya FM and talk as if we met in some dark corners with him is mischievous. That’s why I think he’s an agent of somebody else,” said Mantashe.

He emphasised he was responding to Kunene’s claims on Kaya FM and not his open letter first published in The Star last week.

Mantashe denied he said things in private that he was not prepared to repeat in public.

“I say whatever I want to say anywhere, any time, as long as it’s within the framework of the ANC.”

Refuting Kunene’s claims that ANC national executive committee members were crippled by fear, Mantashe said party leaders freely debated key issues before taking a decision, without waiting for a “script from a dictator”.

He also said Shivambu was an angry former ANC member with an axe to grind.

“That’s Floyd’s weakness. Floyd gets disgruntled and manufactures issues. He is a reckless, young, aspirant intellectual who manufactures issues.”

The fact that Shivambu called to back Kunene’s claims was proof that “Kenny is Floyd’s loudhailer”.

Earlier, Kunene, who has reportedly joined Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party, added that Zuma’s was the “leadership of secrecy”.

The Zuma administration had commissioned a probe into the more than R200 million upgrade to his Nkandla homestead, Kunene said, but then they classified the final report.

“People in the ANC need to speak up. Even people like Gwede must stop saying things in private. They must say it in public.

“The leadership of Jacob Zuma is a leadership of secrecy”.

Kunene said he felt vindicated because the ANC was now considering criminalising “insults” against Zuma.

Mantashe denied this, saying South Africans such as political analyst Prince Mashele regularly criticised Zuma “and they don’t get visited by the special branch”.

Mantashe would not say whether he or the ANC would sue Kunene, but hinted at that.

He added: “That is my decision. He (Kunene) never met me in a shebeen. I have never gone to ZAR (a Cape Town nightclub that Kunene co-owns).

“He must not say I say things in private that I am not prepared to say in public.

“The organisation must protect its integrity,” said Mantashe.


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