The Melville Residents’ Association (MRA) released a statement on its Facebook page calling for residents to object to the operating licence of one of the area’s premises being moved into the control/ownership of Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie.
In its statement, it said: “It has been brought to the attention of the Melville Residents’ Association (MRA) that there has been an application to transfer the liquor licence from previous occupant Catz Pajamas … to an entity which appears to be controlled /owned by Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie.
“Based on information presently to hand, the MRA is gravely concerned at the prospect of Melville having an establishment similar to those operated by or on behalf the above individuals elsewhere.
“Melville’s residents have experienced first-hand the negative effects of non-compliant and irresponsible business operators serving liquor, both in 7th street and in Main road, where the above premises are located.”
The MRA then listed a number of other businesses already selling liquor in the area, before alleging that “the vicinity around the … premises … has attracted a massive amount of negative attention in the suburb”, which it lists as: “excessively late trading hours”; noise; “drag races in the street; widespread public alcohol consumption; open peddling and use of drugs; general lawlessness and serious crime, including muggings, fights, intimidation and harassment of residents; the regular leaving of large amounts of broken glass and food containers in the road and on the pavement.”
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The MRA wants the Gauteng Liquor Board not to proceed with the transfer of the licence and has lodged an objection in the matter.
“The MRA needs your support to urgently prevent the transfer happening by objecting to this transfer,” the statement concluded.
When called for comment, McKenzie said that he had heard about the MRA’s objection and was incensed by it. He said Kunene had nothing to do with the matter and he (McKenzie) had been supporting a young family member in his 20s to get set up with his own business. The company was, in fact, in the name of this family member.
He said he was planning to sue the MRA for dragging his name through the mud for no reason.
“I’ve served my time in jail, I have every right under the constitution to open a business anywhere in this country. Those are just a bunch of white racists that must just leave this country. We don’t need them.
“I’ve seen exactly what they’ve said about me; it’s defamation.”
He explained that he suspected the case was linked to a group of people who were unhappy with another of his currently operating dining and clubbing establishments in the northern suburbs, Rivonia on Deck.
“My forefathers fought for this freedom we have for my nephew to be able to open a business there in Melville. They can all go to hell. Why did they leave a white woman to do business there, but I can’t?
“There will be blood on the floor before I allow people like that to dictate what I can and can’t do in this country. People died for our freedom. That’s Melville, not Orania.”
McKenzie’s political party, the Patriotic Alliance, recently took part in municipal government elections. It won five seats – one in each of five different councils.