Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
12 Jan 2017
5:00 am

Msimanga warns ANC to back off, or else

Rorisang Kgosana

The Tshwane mayor says he can embarrass government, but will only do that as a last resort.

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has threatened to release a list of government officials and leaders who have also visited Taipei, following criticism he faced for his visit to the small country in December.

Briefing the media at the mayoral office in Centurion, Msimanga dismissed allegations that he flouted the rules of travelling to Taipei to meet with its mayor, stating he gained permission from the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco).

This after the ANC argued that the Taiwan visit by Msimanga transgressed foreign policy with respect to diplomatic ties with China.

But the capital city’s mayor sent a strong warning to the governing party.

“If you want to play this politically and you want to be embarrassed, continue pursuing this, because I will reveal who else has been there in the last two years. You will be very interested to know who has been there, from KZN, national parliament and even here in Tshwane.

“But that would take away from what I want to do, which is to attract investment into the city,” he said.

Msimanga reiterated that he was granted a diplomatic passport by Dirco, which also issued a visa for his visit.

“It was Dirco who requested that a representative from the capital be sent to represent it in Taipei. That the ANC now seeks to peddle another narrative in the media is entirely disingenuous, schizophrenic and shows the ANC’s response in this regard to be manufactured outrage of the highest order.”

He fingered a member of the ANC for informing the Chinese government of his trip, adding that the issue was manufactured by the party to hinder the improvement of the capital city.

“No one in China knew about my visit until someone in the ANC caucus informed them, as I spoke to some ANC members.

“Some members didn’t understand what the fuss was about, but only wanted to know the reason for my visit. “This has nothing to do with China, but is merely a city-to-city visit to see how a world-class metro is run.”