Floyd Shivambu demands apology

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu on Thursday afternoon demanded an apology from the chair of the Standing Committee of Finance, Yunus Carrim.

This after Carrim sent out a statement on behalf of the committee criticising Shivambu’s remarks about Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat.

Earlier in the week Shivambu, in a committee meeting, had accused Momoniat of having a superiority complex which did not allow him to take orders from African seniors. His remarks received condemnation from several quarters, including the committee and later Momoniat’s employer, National Treasury.

READ MORE: LISTEN — What exactly did Shivambu say about Momoniat?

On Thursday Shivambu took exception to the statement released by the committee, which labelled what he said to Momoniat a “crude attack” and “inconsistent with the non-racial principles”.


Shivambu said the statement was “absolute nonsense”. He said it implied he said someone could not speak before the committee on the basis of their race.

“I submit that the committee withdraw that statement and apologise,” he said.

In a recording of the meeting on Tuesday, which Fin24 has heard, Carrim challenged Shivambu’s earlier comments regarding Momoniat, interpreting them as a bid to deny Indian South Africans the freedom to identify as African or to minimise their contribution to constitutional democracy.

READ MORE: Treasury — EFF doesn’t grasp how parliament works

“What is he going to say next? That (Bantustan of Bophutatswana leader Lucas) Mangope is more important that Mac Maharaj? Please, no! And Jay Naidoo? No! You come from the same ideology broadly, Floyd. This is going too far, really. What are [you] gonna say next, that Mongope is more important than Ahmad Kathrada?

“No, Floyd, you are letting yourself down, and you’re letting government down,” Carrim said at the time.

‘I never said that’

“I never said anywhere that the guy must not speak because he is Indian. You (Carrim) even went around and did interviews on behalf of this committee saying that I prevented a person from speaking on the basis of him being Indian – I never said that.”

Shivambu said there was nothing wrong with critiquing the undermining of African leadership. “That is what we did, and you go around in a crazy, nonsensical way, and say I prevented a person from speaking because he is Indian. I demand that you apologise for that.”

Carrim responded by saying nowhere in the statement did the committee indicate that Shivambu would not let anyone speak because he or she were Indian. “That would mean Pravin Gordhan can’t speak because he is Indian. No one said that.”

READ MORE: Parly finance committee condemns Shivambu over Momoniat outburst

Carrim also pointed out that the committee called for Treasury and the larger financial sector to be more demographically representative.

Shivambu wants Treasury to hold a briefing on its demographic representation at management level.

During Thursday’s discussion around the incident, ANC MP Thandi Tobias said that the committee did not want anyone, whether “white, green or blue” to undermine African leadership.

But she questioned Shivambu for bringing racial classification into the meeting. “Let us not pretend that you did not do it,” she said to Shivambu. She also requested Shivambu to bring evidence to support his assertion that Momoniat was undermining African leadership.

The committee resolved to issue a new statement, which would reaffirm the previous statement. It would, however, be amended to note that the other reason for Shivambu objecting to Momoniat’s presence was that he allegedly undermined African leadership.

“We did not say in our statement that he objected to Mr Momoniat speaking on the grounds of his race; in any case, he can’t do it.

“We didn’t say it and neither did the chair,” said Carrim.

Carrim said Shivambu was now free to go to any authority in Parliament to question the accuracy of the statement that was discussed in a committee meeting on Wednesday, which Shivambu did not attend. “And if the structure finds that the chairperson has done wrong, the chairperson will resign,” said Carrim.

READ MORE: EFF backs Shivambu following attack on treasury official

Director-General Dondo Mogajane defended Momoniat on the Karima Brown Show on 702 on Tuesday. Having worked with Momoniat for 18 years, Mogajane said that he was professional and not racist.

“The way Momoniat has conducted himself in the 18 years I have known him – he is not racist, he is a professional. I support him; everyone supports him.

“He has guided us in many ways. He is an asset to government, he is an asset to South Africans.

“He plays a major role in what Treasury has become – an institution of note,” Mogajane said.

He also rejected Shivambu’s comments that Momoniat undermined his office, and that of the deputy minister and minister. “Treasury is an institution with professionals who work hard and who put their lives on the line on behalf of South Africans to keep the integrity of the system intact. The comments of Shivambu are unfortunate.”

Treasury issued a separate statement on Thursday, in which it rejected Shivambu’s allegations that Momoniat was undermining African leadership.

“The Ministry of Finance treats with utmost contempt the EFF claims that Momoniat drives an agenda that is against black people. This cannot be. Whenever he has appeared in Parliament, or any other public platform, he has articulated National Treasury policies, policies that have also served and [been] approved by Cabinet,” Treasury said. — Fin 24

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.

Lameez Omarjee
Lameez Omarjee
Parliamentary reporter at Fin24.com

Related stories

‘We want to occupy the land,’ says EFF’s Malema at Senekal farm murder protest

The party and AfriForum staged protests outside the magistrate’s court during the bail application by two men accused of killing a farm manager in the eastern Free State

South Africa requires a different vision than the ANC’s

In response to Ryno Geldenhuys’s piece Under Mbali Ntuli the DA would offer South Africans a new political home, published in the Mail & Guardian on 13 October

Steenhuisen remains simply the best

With reference to Eusebius McKaiser “The DA’s next leader should have a diverse political toolkit” (Mail&Guardian, September 23)

Calling South African conservatives…

We’ve tried leftism for long enough and what we have to show for it is corruption and mismanagement, when what we need is jobs and education. Is it time to try out a Mashaba-esque version of right-wing politics?

Eusebius McKaiser: The DA’s next leader should have a diverse political toolkit

But in the battle of John and Mbali, the way things are going, the party will crucify the better option

Clicks-bait: EFF MP’s new parole probe

Kenny Motsamai, a parolee who is also an EFF MP, could be sent back to jail if correctional services finds he violated his parole conditions
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday