Former South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has withdrawn from the ruling party’s list for Parliament, making himself unavailable to serve as an MP.
This was announced by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe in Cape Town on Tuesday. Mantashe would not be drawn on the reasons for Mboweni’s withdrawal, contained in a letter to the ANC.
“I don’t think it would be ethical … to read a letter that Mboweni writes to the ANC … and we don’t think that should be done. He will be doing something different in the best interests of the country and himself.”
Mboweni’s withdrawal followed speculation that he would replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan if he were not available for appointment or should he be deployed elsewhere. Gordhan, who is not at MP, was appointed in 2009. The law allows the president to appoint to his Cabinet two ministers and two deputy ministers who are not MPs.
“The question is a strange question on why X member [Mboweni] withdrew [from the list] … Obviously Comrade Tito cannot withdraw from the list to go and stay at home,” said Mantashe, according to a Mail & Guardian report.
“He [Mboweni] is quite an active person and member … he has withdrawn from the list, he will be doing something different that he thinks will be in the best interest of the country and for himself,” he added.
As an ANC member with a wealth of experience from serving in the previous administrations, it was expected that Mboweni would be appointed in President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet. Zuma is likely to announce his new Cabinet this Sunday.
Mantashe also announced that the ANC will be withdrawing another senior member from Parliament; a person who will replace Jackson Mthembu as the party’s national spokesperson and will be based at the party’s headquarters in Luthuli House. It’s not clear yet who that candidate is. – Sapa, additional reporting by Andisiwe Makinana