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Wed Apr 16 21:01:14 SAST 2014

Another Cosatu chief gets stuck into tycoon Kunene

GABISILE NDEBELE | 31 October, 2010 23:260 Comments

Zingiswa Losi, Cosatu's second deputy president, has joined the fray between her union colleague Zwelinzima Vavi and businessman Kenny Kunene.

The two men last week set off a war of words after Vavi indirectly berated Kunene for hosting a lavish 40th birthday party at ZAR nightclub that allegedly cost more than R700000.

Vavi, speaking at a civil society conference in Boksburg, Gauteng, said: "I am told at one party sushi was served from the bodies of half-naked ladies. "It is the sight of these parties, where the elite display their wealth, often secured by questionable methods, that turns my stomach."

But Kunene hit back on Thursday, issuing a scathing letter to the media in which he lambasted Vavi for criticising him ''but still attending IT millionaire Robert Gumede's R50-million wedding".

Losi said yesterday that she agreed with Vavi about not responding to Kunene and Malema, who criticised Vavi at the weekend. "They do not deserve the respect of being taken seriously," she said.

Losi called them "greedy capitalists", and said "they condemn themselves out of their own mouths".

She also said that she condemned Kunene's attitude to women, referring to the half-naked models who entertained guests at the ZAR party. "These half-naked women are being treated as sex objects - little more than party accessories, to decorate the room and provide some lewd enjoyment to the invited men, as they enjoyed their sushi, champagne and whisky."

But Kunene was quick to hit back at Losi, saying yesterday that it was "funny" that people were complaining about his models who were wearing ''Roberto Cavalli swimming costumes".

"Yet they don't complain when women are displayed all over music videos, pageants and TV shows, wearing the same garments. Even pageants like Miss South Africa have women in costumes, and no one ever complains that those women are being exploited.

"I respect women, and was only trying to create jobs for those ladies, who are models," Kunene said.

He asked why Vavi and others were trying to ''politicise fun rather than concentrating on government matters".

"I spend as much as I give back to my community and people who need my help. I have sponsored several children with school funds and bursaries. I have given back to families in their time of need."

Asked how much he spent on this party, Kunene replied: "I never tell how much I spend. I don't even know where they got the R700000 from."

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