Sushi King Kunene wants to fly his own political flag

FILE PIC: Kenny Kunene  Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PIC: Kenny Kunene Picture: Michel Bega

The chameleon of South African politics, businessman-cum-politician Kenny Kunene, who has already changed his political allegiance once, is set to change his colours again.

Kunene, better known as the “sushi king”, was a member of the ANC, but then joined former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

He hung up his red beret as head of campaigns, mobilisation and special projects in August.

This time the flamboyant businessman wants to form his own political party.

The Citizen understands the party, which will be known as the Patriotic Alliance, will be formally launched in Cape Town on Saturday. A very reliable source said a new party had been registered with the Independent Electoral Commission.

When contacted for comment, Kunene, a former teacher, would only say: “We will tell everything on Saturday at a media briefing.

“We want everyone to be there. We want to give it to everyone at the same time. We don’t want to do separate interviews.”

Kunene refused to talk about his resignation from the EFF.

Although he would not confirm or deny the formation of the new party, The Citizen can reveal there was a meeting between him and his associates yesterday to discuss plans for the new party.

Kunene came under attack from the ANC earlier this year after he labelled President Jacob Zuma a “tyrant” and a “monster”.

In an open letter to Zuma, Kunene said: “In public you smile and laugh, but in truth you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies ruthlessly and because of that fear dare to speak openly.”

Independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga said Kunene’s new political party will be viewed with suspicion. “There is a realisation that political parties are a channel towards resources. And Kunene’s party will be viewed with that suspicion: as a vehicle for him to continue a lavish life.”

He added, however, that there is space for new political parties.

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said everyone in the country had a right to organise politically. “We wish him well.”

Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos said if Kunene spent a year in prison without an option of fine, he is disqualified to go to Parliament.

“But if he completed his sentence more than five years ago he can go to Parliament,” said De Vos.

Kunene, a convicted criminal, spent six years in prison. September marked 10 years since his release from prison.



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