M&G interviews David van Rooyen’s Twitter imposter

In what would prove to be his first and last official media statement, former finance minister (for four long and economically significant days) David “Des” van Rooyen talked about Twitter. In particular, the minister was outraged about a Twitter account he swore was fake – @daviddvanrooyen.

On Monday this week, just one day after Van Rooyen’s dramatic redeployment to local government portfolio vacated by his own sudden successor, Pravin Gordhan, the Mail & Guardian invited @daviddvanrooyen to explore this, the one and only issue to take up the entire term of the erstwhile finance minister.

If you are really Des van Rooyen, why did the ministry of finance distance itself from your account, calling it a parody account?
It’s not a parody. South Africa is beyond parody.

How was your weekend? 
The same as every South African’s: it began with lots of hope and optimism, which ended on Sunday night after Carte Blanche

Did you have time to do the backstroke in the treasury’s vault – like Scrooge McDuck? 
Yes, but the vault is only filled with the old 1c and 2c coins. And uncounted votes for Cope from the last election.

What word comes to mind when I say the word “nuclear”?  
Dudu Myeni’s temper.

Have you always been a Weekend Special or is this your first time? 
I already have a company called Late Bloomer Enterprises, so now I’ll just start one called Premature Evacuation Enterprises.

What was the first purchase you made as minister of finance? 
A new fire pool, of course. 

What is your favourite way to unwind? 
It was going to be by sailing my new yacht across Table Bay, but …

Where do you see yourself in four days?
The same place as all South Africans before Christmas: in a lot of debt.

Let’s play a game called “Hire, fire, or redeploy”. I say three names, and you tell me which person you would hire, fire or redeploy as a minister. Dudu Myeni. Nhlanhla Nene. Jacob Zuma. 
I would kill Nhlanhla Nene, kiss Dudu Myeni and marry Jacob Zuma. 

Can you name any #ThingsThatLastLongerThanVanRooyen …
This hashtag’s popularity.

You have several names: David, Desmond, Douglas. Which one is your white name? 
I really thought my names would be the clincher for me staying on as finance minister. Now I’m going back to my original clan name: Mzekezeke.

Did you find out when Zuma is going to pay back the money? 
Yes. When Nkandla freezes over.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday