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Juju designer is a traitor - union

The South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union has joined the fray in condemning the Juju label designer's decision to produce the range in China.
On Tuesday Sowetan reported that fashion designer Obakeng Ramabodu of OB Fitted was in Guangzhou, China, to make the suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema- inspired range.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said Ramabodu was exploiting Malema's name to make a quick buck.

Yesterday Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel called Ramabodu a "traitor to our beloved country's developmental needs".

"We do not need such low-class, back-stabbing opportunists," Kriel said.

Proudly South African CEO Leslie Sedibe also criticised Ramabodu for producing the Juju range in China. He said the production cost difference was not that big in most cases.

"Our position is clear as Proudly South African, at least 60% of production should take place locally. This shows a lack of national pride on his part. It is a spit on the face of South Africans trying to create jobs."

Sedibe said his organisation encouraged South Africans to use the country's existing capacity.

He said the reason for the collapse of the local textile industry was "things like this".

However, Ramabodu again defended his action, saying he knocked at many doors locally for support, including the private and public sector.

"I went to the National Youth Fund, Gauteng Development Agency, The Department of Trade and Industry and top businessmen," he said. "They all told me that the name of the range was too controversial for them to be associated with. What was I supposed to do? Going to China was the most practical option for me.

"I am proudly South African. The whole aim is to eventually empower other local designers through the Juju range."

Meanwhile, the newspaper says that the Juju range has been received warmly by Sowetan readers. "Most of those who wrote on our website and those who called in said they would support the range".

Source: Sowetan via I-Net Bridge


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