South Africans are having a field day on Twitter following Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s cross-examination at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Tuesday.
Gordhan was cross-examined by former South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane.
Matters became heated when advocate Dali Mpofu, on behalf of Moyane, told advocate Michelle le Roux, was acting on behalf of Gordhan, to “shut up”.
Mpofu complained about being interjected by Le Roux, asking her to allow him to speak.
“Chair, I’m on the floor, this cannot happen for the third time. Mrs Le Roux must shut up when I am speaking, you too Mr Gordhan,” Mpofu said.
“Mr Mpofu, I’m in charge here, please sit down,” replied commission chairperson Raymond Zondo.
“But chair I’m still speaking, why must I be the one who sits down. Maybe we should leave because if we’re not allowed to speak and you allow interruptions,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu’s comment has divided South Africans on social media, with some saying he was out of line, while others sating he rightly told Le Roux to shut up.
Is the DCJ not going to comment on the "Shut up" matter? @StateCaptureCom .I think the wrong people are claiming "unfair" treatment at Commission. Lots of concessions…
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) March 23, 2021
Before @AdvDali_Mpofu told Adv Le Roux to ‘shut up’ he raised 2 things:
1. That Adv L Roux was interrupting him for the 3rd time
2. That he allowed her to raise her objections without any interruptions from him.
It is NB in our criticism 2 also address his protestations too
— Donald Diale (@DonaldDiale) March 24, 2021
Those in defence of Mpofu also argued there was not much criticism when President Cyril Ramaphosa told DA MP John Steenhuisen to “shut up” when he was being interrupted.
At the time, Ramaphosa was defending the country’s decision on the minimum wage, saying other countries had embraced minimum wages.
“We’re not the only country in the world that has embraced a minimum wage. Actually, if you go to the International Labour Organisation, they will tell you that more and more countries around the world are embracing a national minimum wage,” Ramaphosa said.
“You look at Brazil, you look at a number of countries in south-east Asia and shut up, you Steenhuisen and listen. I want you to shut up, I really do want you to shut up because honourable Steenhuisen continues to make noise.”
Social media zombies worship this one for saying shut up and admonish @AdvDali_Mpofu for saying shut up. You’re doing very well Chair and have thus far exposed the class/race agenda that underpins Jamnandas’ illusion of so called state capture.pic.twitter.com/rreZkJyp9Z
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) March 24, 2021
At the time, Naledi Pandor defended Ramaphosa and said some of the interjections from Steenhuisen “bordered on the offensive”.