The New Age Editorial
In a country like South Africa, where there is so much poverty, a disturbing trend has emerged of rich people flaunting their wealth. It is almost like they are saying to the poor: we don’t care about your situation because we are well off.
Kenny Kunene and his sushi parties are, of course, a well-known example of this crassness. But we saw it again this week with the wedding of billionaire David Mabilu. According to a weekend paper, Mabilu spent more than R10m on his wedding, including flying guests and entertainers to a Mauritius resort.
One of the guests was Julius Malema who flew there in business class on Friday straight after a “march for economic freedom”. Apparently, Malema was escorted to OR Tambo Airport by police with blue lights. We also saw it with the lavish party hosted by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula who celebrated his 40th birthday with American R&B artists in attendance. The party was apparently financed by Mbalula’s friends. How much it cost is not known.
Of course, people have a right to spend their money in whatever way they want, especially if it is money earned through honest hard work.
The sad reality of the SA situation is that most of the people who flaunt their wealth and telling the poor where to get off, did not earn their wealth the hard way, but through political patronage and connections.
Some of them have used black economic empowerment policies to position themselves to get rich quickly. While Julius Malema pretends to be speaking up for the poor, he still lives the good life.
No wonder that there exists this sense of entitlement among many of the youth today. Surely with role models like Malema, they must be thinking: if he didn’t have to work hard to get all his wealth, why should I?
Young people should be encouraged to work hard to get ahead in life and not be misled by the ostentatious display of wealth by people who should know better.