NO POLITICS, JUST MOTIVATION: Businessman and Patriotic Alliance (PA) Secretary General, Kenny Kunene was invited by the Wits Black Lawyers Association as part of their Motivational Talk series where he told students never to abort their dreams. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
Give yourself the opportunity to dream big, said Patriotic Alliance (PA) secretary-general and businessman Kenny Kunene to Wits students on Wednesday.
Kunene was speaking at a seminar organised by the Wits Black Lawyers’ Association (BLA) at Wits University.
“It is through a practical story that I believe that one can draw inspiration because we can quote so many words but if one doesn’t understand the journey that has been traveled, one would not be able to understand how one got to where he is today,” Kunene told the audience.
Taking the wide-eyed crowd to a small house in Odendaalsrus, Kunene relived the indignity of taking out buckets full of human faeces almost daily as part of his youth. He also spoke of his small business of selling fruits in high school to afford the clothes his rich friends wore at that time.
It was during this time that Kunene was exposed to mining, through his encounter and relationship with gold smugglers which eventually landed him behind bars for running a ponzi scheme.
“I have never defined my life through pain. I have literally changed every pain into champagne. Never allow negativity to define your life. Let positivity be your lifestyle, your past must not define you.
Those who make it academically and business wise are those who specialise and work harder than others. If you’re going to be a lawyer, ask yourself, what will make me a better lawyer? Education is the foundation. The reason I’ve gotten so far is that at least I had a teacher’s qualification,” he said.
BLA chairperson, Zareef Minty said: “It’s a privilege to bring my mentor to our established university, Kenny is not only a great inspiration to our young students but he is also someone who can motivate a crowd of people better than anyone.”
Wits Vuvuzela reporters Ray Mahlaka and Thuletho Zwane attended the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) conference from this Friday night to Saturday. The conference happened in Soweto and drew a significant crowd.
EFF founding members Julius Malema and businessman Kenny Kunene march through the streets of Soweto. Photo: Thuletho Zwane
RAY MAHLAKA and THULETHO ZWANE
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters were barred from entering the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Doorfontein Campus on Friday.
“Luthuli House was sabotaging us,” said EFF municipal co-ordinator and former ANC youth league secretary Walter Mokorodi. He said UJ’s decision to bar them from entry was politically motivated.
“We were given permission to be at UJ, but were refused entry. The ANC sent UJ students messages not to attend [the event]. We ripped up ANC t-shirts,” said Mokorodi.
EFF released a statement “condemning” UJ’s decision to close the campus to EFF’s event and Julius Malema, their commander-in-chief.
However EFF still maintains proper procedures were followed to secure a venue for Malema’s speech.
“EFF condemns the decision to close the university campus against the EFF event despite the fact that permission for the event was granted,”said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Ndlozi said “UJ has chosen a political side, fallen prey to the cheap tricks of the ruling party which use public institutions like the police, NPA [National Prosecution Authority], SABC…”
UJ media relations coordinator Herman Esterhuizen said “the university didn’t cancel the event. There was no application. The submission was not in the time period of the university”.
Esterhuizen said the UJ process for booking or hiring a venue should happen eight-weeks prior to event, and said the university did not “cancel the event”.
An EFF delegate handed Wits Vuvuzela the minutes of a meeting where booking of the venue was discussed. The document, with a UJ letterhead, which was not confirmed by UJ, shows that Mayibuye Anarchist Society requested to book room 2212 on July 2 to use on July 18. The minutes show the venue bookings were approved by the UJ bookings and hiring committee.
UJ venue bookings and hiring committee minutes showing a late venue application. Image: Provided.
Ndlozi said in a statement: “Economic Freedom Fighters were held at ransom because the toothless lapdogs of the African National Congress vowed that the EFF will not enter University of Johannesburg.”
EFF Mpumalanga media liaison officer Mpumelelo Masina said “people can cast out the fact we are disgruntled people who just want to sing and dance, we have intellectuals.”
Masina said EFF will be launching in Marikana on August 17 , a day after the first anniversary of the Marikana Massacre where 34 miners were killed.
By THULETHO ZWANE and RAY MAHLAKA
IN HIS first print interview, newly appointed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has defended the new movement’s founding members from accusations of being “tenderpreneurs” and “dodgy characters”.
Ndlozi, a politics PhD candidate, has defended his new organisation’s leadership against the criticism laid by his former comrades in the Wits ANC Youth League (ANCYL).
Wits SRC vice president Tokelo Nhlapo accused EFF members of having wrongly benefitted from tenders.
“The discomfort that we have is the characters in the EFF where they have benefitted from these things [tenders].”
Ndlozi defended EFF and said the new movement wants the government tendering system to be stopped.
He admits that while EFF founding member Julius Malema was a “tenderpreneur”, Malema has now realised the flaws in the government tender process and wants to end it.
SRC treasurer Justice Nkomo took a swipe at the founding members of EFF, including Malema and businessman Kenny Kunene. He called EFF a “convenience of stomach empowerment for individuals who are politically disgruntled”.
“I don’t take it [EFF] seriously, it’s not a threat to the ANC and outside Wits it’s not a threat to the PYA [Progressive Youth Alliance]” said Nkomo.
Nkomo also affirmed that the South African Students Congress (Sasco) will continue to support the ANC.
Nhlapo said there were no policy differences between the EFF and ANCYL and called the new organisation’s leaders “dodgy”.
“There is no difference between the ANCYL and EFF, the only contradiction is the EFF is spearheaded by dodgy characters. Julius was expelled from the ANCYL. Floyd [Shivambu] was expelled from the ANCYL,” Nhlapo said.
Ndlozi said the allegations that Malema is corrupt are unfounded: “Julius [Malema] is facing corruption charges. He is facing those charges in court, he’s not running away.”
“Julius was never in government. Malema has not had undue influence. The prosecutor needs to prove that,” said Ndlozi.
Malema, founding member of EFF, owes the SA Revenue Service R16-million for unpaid taxes.
[pullquote]“I believe Wits students are of the highest intellect in political analysis. I have faith in Wits students, they are intelligent and they are going to see through them.” [/pullquote]
The public protector, Thuli Madonsela, alleges that Malema made his millions from a fraudulent tender.
Nkomo called EFF a “mickey mouse political party” and said the new movement will not find a place on Wits campus.
“I believe Wits students are of the highest intellect in political analysis. I have faith in Wits students, they are intelligent and they are going to see through them,” said Nkomo.
Ndlozi accused the ANC of “broad churchism” and said people were allowed to join the party who didn’t believe in the principles of the Freedom Charter. This was one of the reasons EFF was formed.
EFF has seven non-negotiable pillars which include the expropriation of land without compensation, the nationalisation of mines and banks, and free education.
“We want to nationalise the mines, we want to nationalise the banks. The banks are enslaving the middle-class through debt. We have to take over the industries and redistribute the land and wealth to all,” said Ndlozi.
Ndlozi said EFF disagrees with the ANC and their alliance partners because of their policies. He said Agang is too dependent on morality and competence. “Agang is based on morals and competence, we offer more than not being corrupt,” said Ndlozi.
The EFF wants a more radical macro-economic framework. He said the Democratic Alliance (DA) is committed to neo-liberalism, commercialisation, privatisation, the flexible labour market and the minimal role of the state.
Wits Vuvuzela asked if EFF will contest the national elections in 2014 but Ndlozi was noncommittal.
“He [Malema] is popular today. Statistical houses show that EFF might win certain provinces. The people say we must run but we must respect internal processes.”
EFF will go to the National Assembly and present their founding manifesto after a conference to be held at the end of this month.