News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
7 Jun 2018
1:59 pm

Listen: EFF digs in its heels on Shivambu’s Momoniat comments

Makhosandile Zulu

The EFF says Momoniat, an Indian, should reflect on the history of the colonial socialisation of blacks that led to Indians being put above black Africans.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu. File photo.

The EFF insists its deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, did not call National Treasury deputy director-general Ishmail Momoniat un-African during the standing committee on Treasury’s meeting this week.

The party’s verified Twitter account shared a sound clip of the leader’s comments at the committee meeting and later a statement in which it reiterated its rejection of the undermining of black African leaders at Treasury.

“Chairperson, can I ask this question? Why is it that National Treasury is represented by one person only on every issue?” Shivambu is heard saying in the clip.

Shivambu said Momoniat should share responsibilities with other senior officials, such as the department’s director-general, among other officials, further questioning Momoniat’s repeated presence at the committee meetings.

“Is he responsible for everything, is he National Treasury?”

A member of parliament interrupted Shivambu’s line of questioning, raising her concerns on the EFF leader’s constant “attacks” on Momoniat, saying they seemed to stem from personal issues.

“Is there a personal tiff between Momo and Floyd?” the MP asked so the matter could “be dealt with and dispensed with”.

The committee’s chairperson, Yunus Carrim, then chimed in to say Shivambu’s attack on Momoniat during meetings and debates was uncalled for, adding the same thing had been an issue with former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni.

“The other issue which is of genuine political concern is that National Treasury is led by a director-general who is an African, and it looks like there are deliberate attempts to undermine African leadership in National Treasury,” Shivambu said, adding the issue should be debated openly and in the public sphere.

Shivambu’s questioning of Momoniat’s regular attendance of the committee meetings led to a heated argument during the committee meeting with the chairperson, and other MPs continued to criticise Shivambu.

Listen to the sound clip below:

In its statement, the EFF said it had, over a period of time, noted that black Africans within Treasury were treated as incapable individuals not worthy of being in the department’s fold.

The party dismissed media reports on Shivambu’s Momoniat comments at the committee meeting, saying the reporting had distorted Shivambu’s remarks.

“The response of the director-general [DG] is also the saddest thing ever because it’s an admission of being dominated. Why would you relegate all your responsibilities to another person, unless you think that person is better than you? This is even much so because the DG is not on leave or sick, he simply is there, but someone is reporting on his behalf,” the EFF added.

The red berets said that, given the history of racial socialisation in the country, Indians and coloureds, though categorised as blacks, viewed themselves as superior to indigenous Africans.

“All Indian and coloured revolutionaries who participated in the liberation movement understood this, and knew that they had to keep watch of internal oppressive culture to which Africans get subjected in movements,” the party said.

“Momoniat must examine himself, if he is a true revolutionary, and ask a simple question, how is it that my African boss is relegating all his powers to me? How does this improve on the historic image that Indians are above Africans in the hierarchy of colonialism? If he is truthful, he will see the point of the EFF leadership and begin to be self-critical at all times in the advancement of the national question,” the EFF concluded.

National Treasury, the governing party, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the portfolio committee on finance have since issued statements criticising Shivambu.

ALSO READ: Shivambu: I never said Momoniat is un-African

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