Chivas deal for ANC tots
Party may buy top brand whisky at discount prices
THE ANC and its youth league could soon sign a marketing deal with Chivas Regal which would see the ruling party buying the top international brand whisky at discounted prices.
A spokeswoman for Chivas Regal’s public relations company yesterday told Weekend Argus: “They are drinking whisky and Chivas wants to be the whisky that they drink – instead of the opposition, Johnny Walker.”
Talk of a deal was sparked after Chivas Regal ended up inadvertently sponsoring presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa’s lavish 40th birthday bash at Taboo, the exclusive Sandton nightclub.
Chivas management said they received a concerned call from the nightclub management two days before Kodwa’s Friday night bash last week. They were told the club had double-booked Chivas Regal’s “living with chivalry” brand awareness party with Kodwa’s bash.
The whisky distiller suggested the club combine the two parties.
The bash was punted as the social event of the year and was attended by the who’s who of the ANC and the entertainment industry.
Guests included youth league president Julius Malema, who is known for his upmarket tastes; Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula, and Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile, as well as socialite Khanyisile Mbau, Generations actress Sophie Ndaba, DJ Sbu and kwaito duo TKZee.
A source said that after Kodwa’s party, Chivas had approached Luthuli House to suggest that the distiller and the ruling party enter a marketing deal.
“The deal will entail the ruling party buying the whisky at discounted prices at its functions and allowing Chivas to raise its marketing stands at ANC functions and rallies,” the source said.
The Chivas spokeswoman, who refused to be identified, said it was simply a business deal. And she stressed that the deal would not see Chivas endorsing the ANC or sponsoring its events with free whisky.
“We are an inter national brand. We would never endorse the ANC or any other political party in the world for that matter. I mean, what kind of message would that send to our customers? And also, we don’t want to alienate anyone.
“If the deal is concluded, the ANC will still have to buy the whisky, just like everyone else.”
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu could not be reached for comment last night, while his colleague Ismail Mnisi claimed he “doesn’t have a clue about a whisky deal”. Kodwa has also denied knowing anything about a deal with Chivas Regal.
This is not the first time the ANC has been approached to give companies access to its influential membership. It allowed Nic Wolpe, the son of anti-apartheid struggle legend Harold Wolpe, to sell 30 stalls at a reported cost of R5 million apiece to businesses in a luxury tent, dubbed the Network Lounge, with alcohol and cigars on offer, metres from the ANC’s main plenary hall at its watershed conference in Polokwane in 2007.
Earlier this month the ANC revealed that it was also selling leather jackets. President Jacob Zuma danced in one of these jackets – in a style called “The President” – at the ANC’s election victory party in April last year.