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Kunene a desperate, loose cannon

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The ANC has accused businessman Kenny Kunene of using cheap publicity stunts to further his "questionable" political ambitions by hurling insults at ANC leaders."It has now become clear that we are dealing with an individual of dubious character, with no political mores or basic decency, intent to harm the African National Congress [ANC] and its leadership with impunity," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Tuesday night.

The Star reported on Wednesday that Kunene had, in an interview on Kaya FM on Tuesday, reiterated his assertion that President Jacob Zuma was a disloyal tyrant and a monster who ruthlessly pursued his enemies despite his broad smiles in public.

Last week, the flamboyant businessman lambasted Zuma in an open letter published in the newspaper.

Kunene reportedly joins EFF

In it he wrote that he had supported Zuma before he became president, but was now disillusioned with his leadership.

Kunene said Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family and their recent wedding scandal, and the controversy surrounding the spending on his household in Nkandla, detracted from the president's credibility.

Kunene, who has reportedly joined Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters political platform, also took a swipe at ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on the radio show, according to the newspaper.

Kunene accused Mantashe of saying things in private which he was not prepared to repeat in public.

Former ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu backed Kunene on the show.

According to The Star, he said Mantashe had told him Zuma was a liability to the ANC, shortly after it emerged that Zuma had fathered a child out of wedlock with Sonono Khoza.

He said Mantashe could not find the courage of his convictions when he was later given the opportunity to speak at an ANC meeting.

Kunene a ‘desperate and loose cannon’

Shivambu reportedly said this was because the ANC was gripped by fear of Zuma.

However, Mthembu described the claims as "ludicrous".

"The statements made that the secretary general, in private gatherings, criticises the ANC president must never be accepted at face value as it is part of a campaign to divide the ANC leadership and weaken our organisation," he said.

The Star reported that Mantashe had phoned in to the radio show and denied saying things about Zuma in private.

"Let this desperate and loose cannon that is parading this fallacious notion tell us and the nation in which private gatherings the SG was meant to have said these statements," said Mthembu.

"The SG does not even know this character, has never met him and certainly never spoke to him about the ANC or any other matter, however trivial."

ANC threatens Kunene with action

Mthembu said it was unfortunate that the ANC had to "even glorify this individual with a response".

"This misguided and fallacious notion that the NEC fears president Zuma cannot be further from the truth," he said.

"The ANC is not sitting awaiting permission and directives from some dictator to do so, nor from Kenny Kunene and his ilk."

He said the party would "where necessary" act against such behaviour to protect the integrity of the ANC.

"Insults to our leaders are not freedom of speech and are not protected by our constitutional dispensation," said Mthembu.

"We reserve the right to act against these individuals within the context of our constitutional prescripts."

- SAPA

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