Investigate sale of shrinking and rotten chicken! - Nzimande

Blade Nzimande
05 January 2011

SACP GS queries why liberal constitutionalists have been so silent about this scandal

Investigate the sale of shrinking and rotten chicken!

We start our 90th anniversary year facing one of the most critical challenges in our revolution, that of safeguarding its ideological integrity and values as a critical platform to wage, in the short term, an effective local government election campaign for an ANC overhelming victory, and in the medium to longer term, to defend its radical character as the most immediate route to a transition to socialism.

We closed the year 2010 with a shocking revelation of how one of the largest poultry producers in our country, Supreme Poultry, is selling rotten chicken to unsuspecting consumers. Contrary to what ordinary South Africans would have expected, the other meat producers closed ranks, and defended this fraudulent, if not criminal, activity as having broken no law of our country! At the very least the meat producers association should have committed itself to investigate this scandal, otherwise one is left with an uncomfortable question of what else do they know that we do not know?

The bourgeois print media also turned one blind eye to the seriousness of this matter, despite an open admission by Supreme Poultry, that indeed it does sell rotten chicken, but not to the big supermarket chains, instead to 'cheap wholesalers' and spaza shops. Indeed what this means is simply that rotten meat is being resold to the majority of black South Africans, most of whom buy their food from these 'cheap' wholesalers and the thousands of spaza shops in both urban and rural areas.

For the ill-informed, this would be regarded as ideological hypocrisy by the bourgeois establishment and its meat producers. Yet for the SACP this shows the extent to which the capitalist system is prepared to go to make profits at any (rotten) costs! If anything, the stance of the meat producers leaves one with an uneasy feeling that this may perhaps just be the tip of the iceberg and that there is a very real possibility that such practices maybe more widespread in the food industry.

Sections of the media have tried to ridicule our very serious call for government to launch an urgent investigation into this matter, and for the necessary punitive measures to be taken. We also hope that parliament would be interested in investigating this matter as well.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the extent to which our revolution is ideologically vulnerable, especially from those who benefit from the capitalist system, both inside and outside the ranks of our movement. This should perhaps also act as a clarion call to our movement, especially the SACP, to intensify the ideological offensive against racism and the capitalist system itself.

The liberal constitutionalists, who in recent times have been parading themselves as the biggest defenders of our constitution have been completely silent about this scandal. Perhaps their silence serves to expose the fact that liberal constitutionalists care less about the poor than to safeguard the interests of the elites in society. Selling rotten meat to poor black South Africans is a very serious affront to the dignity of millions of our people!

Of course we should all be careful not to create a public scare in dealing with this matter. But at the same time, this is indeed a very, very serious matter. And there are very sound reasons for the SACP to call for a full investigation into this matter.

Going through the website of Country Bird Holdings (CBH), the company that owns Supreme Poultry, there are some disturbing and interesting observations that one makes. In all of the recent coverage by the media, there is no mention of the fact that it was reported in South African media in April last year that the Zimbabwean government has banned all poultry importation from South Africa.

The press article in April reported in the Star reported the matter as follows

"The Zimbabwean Poultry Association (ZPA) has alleged that South African and South American poultry were heavily injected with a brine saltwater solution, to levels as high as 40%... The solution increased bird weight when frozen, but it seeped out before or during cooking, leaving the actual meat content at 60-70% of the original weight, the ZPA said.

"The association said it also suffered of unfair competition because South African chickens were fed genetically modified maize ingredients, which compromised the quality of the meat".

Instead of challenging these serious allegations about the quality of our poultry which led to the Zimbabwean government taking a decision to ban the importation of South African poultry, a senior executive of Supreme Poultry, is quoted in the same article as saying that "I think it's because we are more efficient than them... He added that this is absolutely a business decision and has nothing to do with animal health or with GM maize". It is also an interesting co-incidence that it was Zimbabwe that took this action, when a number of the directors of both Supreme Poulty and CBH are Zimbabwean expatriates or have had some Zimbabwean connection!

This response is no different from current responses from the same company when the scandal of the sale of rotten chicken was exposed. Instead of confronting the allegations and putting us at ease, they instead pointed out that there is nothing illegal in selling rotten chicken, particularly, we suppose, if these are sold to 'cheap' wholesalers and spaza shops!

Incidentally, in the day to day campaigning work that the SACP is doing through its 'Know Your Neighbourhood Campaign' we have come across complaints, especially in parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, on the problem of shrinking poultry once it is defrosted or cooked, but we could not explain the reason for this. Could the allegations by the Zimbabwe Poultry Association be our answer to this 'strange' phenomenon of shrinking chicken?

It is also very interesting that in its own 2009 annual report, Country Bird Holdings reports an increase in its operating profit of a whopping 354%, from R41m to R186m, all in one financial year! In the same report, it is also said that whilst the average increase in the price of poultry in South Africa was around 19%, that of CBH was around 22%. Why?

The SACP also takes this matter very seriously for three other reasons. Firstly, why, if this a perfectly legal trading practice to resell rotten chicken, is this not reflected on the chicken itself and for consumers to be told about this? This matter has only come to fore as a result of a whistleblower, who is reportedly being legally pursued by the company concerned.

Secondly, a matter that the media has not picked up, is that, Supreme Poultry are also reported to be suppliers to Nandos and Kentucky Fried Chicken! Most seriously, is that such practices, if not properly investigated can damage the reputation of South Africa as a meat exporting country, thus placing at risk thousands of workers' jobs.

The SACP will not rest until this matter has been fully investigated and appropriate action taken.

Phansi ngezinkukhu ezibolile!


Blade Nzimande is SACP general secretary. This article first appeared in the Party's online journal, Umsebenzi Online.

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 responses to this article

more than anything
Blade sweetie is your need to use better grammar ; your opening sentence was, whew, far tooooo long.

by kay on January 05 2011, 21:10
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What a childish article

Some ethically challenged company does dodgy things to the chicken it sells to equally rapacious shopkeepers, and the whole thing is trotted out as a failure of the capitalist system rather than a failure of governance and law enforcement by the . .more

by mpho on January 05 2011, 21:12
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To the editor" Moneyweb"
Dear sir, as an entrepreneur I am always interested in new ventures.
Do you think there is any money to be made in selling exclamation marks to Mr Blade Nzimande.
I would appreciate your comment at your earliest opportunity.

by Plutarch on January 05 2011, 21:41
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a diversion...
to try take attention away from education results this week????

by onlooker on January 06 2011, 00:44
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Blade's mixing of weird Marxist terminology with the details of an ordinary case of dishonest business practices, had me in stitches. But also utterly confused. Is he accusing the chickens of being bourgeois or the bourgeoisie of being chickens? Comrade . .more

by Sam vd Berg on January 06 2011, 01:18
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unlike the headless chickens, blade nzimande, can take refuge in
excess such as luxury vehicles & hotel bills, footed by taxpayers & vat payers - without even suggesting motor vehicle & hotelier capitalists be investigated with his explanation marks (codes for scientific socialism?)(!) - while long hidden rot under . .more

by gab ok on January 06 2011, 04:50
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rotten chicken
i find it disgusting that all most all the comments are against what cde Blade is raising , why because the company that is under scrutiny is owned by whites or that the meat being sold to wholesalers ends at the township ? stop being hypocrites you silly . .more

by ben on January 06 2011, 06:28
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is it true that the blithering, blathering fool, Nzimande, is actually the Minister for Higher (???!!!***) Education.
Goodness gracious me; with a fool like this in charge of skools we will soon have a really gud komunist level of kleverkids.
No . .more

by Cassandra on January 06 2011, 06:37
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A question about headless Roosters
.Have they found the R500,000 that went missing?.

by PreBorn on January 06 2011, 07:02
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Fowl arguments by Blade
Hey Ben, I'm a whitey and I thoroughly condemn what Supreme has been doing. The problem is that Blade ("Bongingkosi") has negated his case by confounding it with retro marxist jargon and claptrap - as well as lies. This has diverted the comments posted . .more

by Graham on January 06 2011, 08:52
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Rather engage the content of the article than grammar used and other petty issues (Kay). The issue at hand is that it is alleged that there is a company that is selling "rotten chicken" to consumers and that the Zimbabwean Poultry Association has banned . .more

by Objective on January 06 2011, 09:53
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Feathered Agents
This racist chickens must be defeated! We call on all revolutionary forces to work hard towards the transformation of these chickens! They are Bloody Agents, and a sinister force of the capitalist West! Pansi KFC, Pansi!

by Janus on January 06 2011, 09:59
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Chicken a la King
Give blunt Blade a rotten chicken he deserves it after what he has done to higher education. Blade leave the chickens alone and attend to the job at hand.

by Koos on January 06 2011, 10:35
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Yeah, well none of you
mentioned that this chicken thing is according to internationally approved practice, distasteful as it sounds. So probably no health regulation has been broken.

by John-Michael on January 06 2011, 10:43
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You cannot be talking like these to a Minister,I know that during apartheid you could not criticise anything,you were indoctrinated into believing that communists are devils,but Blade is right ,we cannot allow our poor people to be fed rubbish in the name . .more

by ZM on January 06 2011, 10:59
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Global Capitalist Racism raises its ugly head once again
Comrade Blade is correct and should continue to inspire us with such comments. It is true that it is the global capitalist racism that encourages this dehumanization and abuse of people at the expense of prift making. Comrade Blade will ridiculed by those . .more

by Arnold Phasha on January 06 2011, 11:43
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@ ZM
I take it then that you would be happy for our poor people to be fed rubbish in the name of Communism or National Socialism? of course you will respond in the negative to my point and boldly assert that Communism will always supply only the highest . .more

by Cassandra on January 06 2011, 13:14
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People like Blade are beyond parody.

by witbooi on January 06 2011, 14:02
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And while you at it comrade Blade, please ask the Government to investigate
Why God or Nature have these white tendencies of striking lightning at poor Black Poople only!

by Comrade Citizen on January 06 2011, 14:57
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Don't be such a nincompoop - if you don't know what the reference to R500000 means then you don't belong on this site. Objective you certainly are not.

This is nothing but commie-inspired claptrap. The company, a publicly listed entity, is . .more

by Vinny on January 06 2011, 15:17
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Not interested in dead chickens
As a liberal, I do not eat chicken or anything else that had a face. I am a liberal but also a vegan. So, clean up your stinky chicken story by yourself, this is not a political issue or an issue to struggle over. Rather have some tofu.

by Liberal on January 06 2011, 15:51
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Why did the chicken ... ?
This "new" saga has all the halmarks of the "storm in a toilet" saga in Cape Town.

Both have been blown out of proportion and are being used to make political hay.

When there is good governance ministers do not comment on the . .more

by James Bell on January 06 2011, 16:23
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Did u even read the article? Moron. The R500K plastic bag arrangement has nothing to do with the debate at hand "rotten chickens". Engage the ideas and not the person.

by Objective on January 06 2011, 17:04
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Its our brothers ,mothers,sisters ,cousins who are fed those chickens.They are not sold in Umhlanga but KwaMashu ,Maoti etc.You know nothing about the poor people or being poor.When Jan came in 1652 he had nothing,no chickens,no cattle ,no land but got . .more

by ZULUMACANSI on January 06 2011, 17:50
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@Ben, @Objective, @Vinny

Blade said :

"We closed the year 2010 with a shocking revelation of how one of the largest poultry producers in our country, Supreme Poultry, is selling rotten chicken to unsuspecting consumers."

Ben, whites in general don't give a . .more

by mpho on January 06 2011, 23:17
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re : Last paragraph above :

That is what Blade had to say.

Blade seems to be saying it's fraudulent but legal to sell rotten chicken meat to the public, and that the meat producers rather than the Government should investigate this.

This is a lazy deployed . .more

by mpho on January 06 2011, 23:31
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....ZM concluded in his above post "When Jan came in 1652 he had nothing,no chickens, no cattle, no land but got them here in our country from us.THE BOTTOM LINE is that Capitalism favours the rich vis-a-vis the poor, only a moron can dispute . .more

by John Austin on January 07 2011, 09:43
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@ mpho
Yep, mpho, Blade is an idiot. Sad but true.

by Alto on January 07 2011, 10:02
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My rudimentary googling of the ownership trail finds MVELEPHANDA HLDGS are amongst the big players in the ultimate corporate ownership of the public paent company.

Filthy Racist Capitalists, hey ?

Neo Imperialism, Racist Capitalism, . .more

by John Austin on January 07 2011, 10:55
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Mount Nelson Communist
I think Blade's staying at the Mount Nelson Hotel sums up all communists. To get an authentic picture of the man I think we should henceforth refer to him as the Mount Nelson Communist (MNC).

by Qinton Parker on January 07 2011, 11:15
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Rotten chickens
For the passed few months I have had a battle to find tinned food, that my dog and cats, will eat. Makes me wonder what there is in the food, considering they have never turned away from their meals.

by Open minded on January 07 2011, 12:32
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I wish you every success in your proposed entrepreneurial venture, and trust you have sufficient bulk tocks of Exclamation Marks to satisfy any surge in demand.

By way of mutual business co-operation, I should mention that I currently hold . .more

by John Austin on January 08 2011, 10:46
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