November 4th, 2010
03:47 PM GMT
There has been a bit of a tit-for-tat war going on in the South African press between two outspoken men.
One, Kenny Kunene, a nightclub owner, held a lavish 40th birthday party recently, during which sushi was reportedly served on the bodies of half-naked women and guests drank expensive imported whisky and champagne.
Leading government and African National Congress leaders attended the party, according to press reports. Other newspapers show photos of the flamboyant Kunene standing in front of his expensive sports car, which has “So What” written on the number plates.
This kind of in-your-face conspicuous consumption has “sickened” the main labur union leader, COSATU’s Zwelinzima Vavi, who says this kind of behavior from the new black elite sets a bad example and insults the poor of South Africa.
Kunene says he spent more than $100,000 on the one-night bash - in a country where unemployment is rife and many families struggle to put food on the table.
My question is - how much “bling” is too much? Are African high rollers judged more harshly than, say, big-spending Russian oligarchs? Or is Vavi correct in saying that South Africa’s rich should be more circumspect with their wealth?
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