Izikhothane tear up R100 notes

WHILE many South Africans go to bed on empty stomachs, members of a growing youth culture, izikhothane, were tearing and throwing away R100 notes on Saturday night.

The group, which usually destroys expensive clothes to seal their standing in a trend, on Saturday splashed the money on the streets of Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

There was pandemonium as people ran after the cars trying to catch the flying torn notes.

Des Motloutsi, one of the people who managed to catch a few pieces which he managed to put together with tape, said izikhothane sported expensive clothes and jewellery.

The incident took place around 11.30pm.

"I could not believe what was happening. Notes were flying all over and people were pushing each other while catching the money. Izikhothane were also spilling expensive liquor," he said.

When Sowetan arrived yesterday, Motloutsi and his friend Sifiso Mabhece were trying to assemble the small pieces together with a sellotape. They had already pieced together R500, while other pieces did not match.

"This morning, we took the money to the Reserve Bank but they told us that the serial numbers did not correspond. Some of the pieces that we picked up don't match."

Kenny Kunene, aka the Sushi King, said tearing up money "was very stupid". He said being izikhothane was all about fashion and looking good, while being irresponsible at the same time.

"I am sure these are recent recruits because izikhothane don't do that. They need guidance and I have been going to schools speaking to them about this practice. I plan to continue next year."

Reserve Bank spokesman Hlengani Mathebula said: "It is a criminal offence to tear up money because you are contravening Section 34(F) of the South African Reserve Bank Act 90 of 1989. Whether you are doing it at your own private space or in public, it's just not accepted."

Police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsinyane said: "If you are caught tearing up money you will face a charge of malicious damage to state property."

- bambalelep@sowetan.co.za