EFF backs Shivambu following attack on treasury official

Shivambu objected to Momoniat constantly being present at all the committee's meetings instead of other senior "African" officials. (David Harrison/M&G)

Shivambu objected to Momoniat constantly being present at all the committee's meetings instead of other senior "African" officials. (David Harrison/M&G)

A grouping of former and current public servants has accused the deputy president of the Economic Freedom Fighters of being racist, shortsighted and childish in his attack on a senior treasury official in Parliament.

The Public Sector Network has questioned Floyd Shivambu’s attack on treasury’s deputy director general Ismail Momoniat on the basis that he is “not African”.

“Since when do we judge the quality of a public servant by their race?” spokesperson of the Public Sector Network Yolisa Pikie asked.

“Momoniat has an outstanding record as a public servant over many years and has brought tremendous skill, honesty, commitment and insight to his work,” he said.

Pikie was reacting to Shivambu’s confrontation with Momoniat during a meeting of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday.

Shivambu objected to Momoniat constantly being present at all the committee’s meetings instead of other senior “African” officials.

‘He thinks he owns national treasury’

Business Day newspaper reported on Tuesday that Shivambu accused Momoniat of having a superiority complex which did not allow him to take orders from African seniors while he in turn rejected “with contempt Shivambu’s unsubstantiated allegations”.

Fin24 reported that Shivambu would not back down, even continuing his attack on Momoniat on Twitter, describing him as part of a cabal that divided the Mass Democratic Movement.

“He is also the neo-liberal technocrat who doesn’t respect African leadership. He thinks he owns National Treasury,” part of the tweet read.

The Public Sector Network has come to Momoniat’s defence and said the struggle against apartheid was not only won by black Africans.

“Momoniat has been guided by a vision of a just and equal society that he developed as an activist against the apartheid state. Indeed, he comes from a family steeped in the struggle against apartheid, with a record of extraordinary sacrifice and unrelenting resistance,” Pikie said in a statement.

The EFF has defended Shivambu, accusing Momoniat of being the “de facto minister of finance”, “dictating everything that national treasury does” and “micromanaging its entities and also trying to micromanage parliamentary process”.

Call for Ramaphosa to ‘reclaim the department from one individual’

“Momoniat has no regard for black, particularly African leadership, in National Treasury and this includes his disrespect of directors general and African ministers and deputy ministers,” spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

“To him, leadership that deserves respect is only [that] of Indian, coloured or white origin,” he said.

The party has listed a number of instances that it says are examples of Momoniat alleged behaviour. These include his participation in the drafting of the so-called twin peaks legislation, the Financial Services Regulation Act and treasury’s submissions to the transformation of the financial sector.

“The EFF has currently questioned the power of Momoniat, who is de facto minister of finance because he does not recognise the African leadership that is leading National Treasury. Other DDGs (deputy directors general) rarely take any decision, while Momoniat is responsible for virtually everything in the national treasury”, Ndlozi said. 

In the statement the party went on to attack the ANC and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and director general Dondo Mogajane to “reclaim the department from one individual”.

“The ANC seems to have internalised a reactionary and self-hate reality that only minorities must be in charge of issues that relate to money and finances. This explains why of the eight provinces under the ANC government, only two people of African descent are MECs of finance and the rest are either white or part of the minorities,” Ndlozi added. — News24

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