Controversial businessman Kenny Kunene will not hold any more sushi parties in future, following objections by the Africa National Congress (ANC), local media reported on Wednesday.
“I will not be throwing or attending any further such sushi parties as I have nothing but respect for the leadership of the ANC and the guiding principles of the movement,” the Star newspaper reported.
According to a statement he sent on Tuesday, if it were not for the work and struggle of ANC leaders, “my leaders, the money that black businesspeople have made since 1994 would not have been possible, and that also applies to me”.
He was responding to outrage triggered by photographs of him eating sushi off the semi-naked body of a model in Cape Town on Saturday night. It was Kunene’s version of the ancient Japanese custom of Nyotaimori or “body sushi”. The model at Kunene’s party was draped across a white Maserati.
The paper reported Kunene saying it was never his intention to associate eating sushi off women’s bodies with the ANC. He accepted the party’s condemnation of the practice, and understood the reasons.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, who also attended the bash, defended Kunene and claimed the businessman’s new club, ZAR lounge — due to open in Green Point in February — “belonged to the ANC”.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe rejected these claims on Monday. Malema then said he was misquoted, the Star reported.
The ANCYL on Monday sought to clarify Malema’s controversial comments.
Malema was reported as saying: “[Democratic Alliance leader] Helen Zille will not close ZAR at 2am, like she does to other clubs in Cape Town. The ANC owns ZAR and we will party until the morning.”
The DA-controlled city recently introduced new liquor by-laws regulating alcohol trading hours.
“Contrary to what is reported, the ANCYL president said that the freedom and right for black people to own a club in a predominantly white territory is a freedom and right that came because of the ANC,” the league’s spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.
“He [Malema] then made an emphasis that even the reactionary DA government cannot curtail that right because it’s now entrenched in our Constitution,” Shivambu said. — Sapa