SA Lockdown: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in trouble over Twitter statements

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Never straying from controversy and speaking his mind, South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni found himself on the sharp end of a tongue-lashing by ANC National Executive Committee members on Thursday.

The group led by stalwart ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, criticised the minister for “acting out of the collective leadership” and behaving “out of order” regarding his comments on Twitter, where he lashed out regarding his position of power and bringing the party into disrepute.

President Cyril Ramaphosa did not come to his defence, however, but told the meeting that he would have a strong word with the minister about his actions.

The came after he went against his government’s decision on an aid package for B-BBEEE companies, which drew notes from some of his colleagues over his frustrations. 

Ramaphosa did defend Mboweni’s stance on tapping the International Monetary Fund for financial aid, a move that would assist to source finding for its R500 billion stimulus package and pay it back on a reduced interest rate of 1%.

Annoying

This isn’t the first time that the minister has encountered job dissatisfaction, which has landed himself in the for making statements on the social media platform.

Just a month into his top job, Mboweni lashed out at the state of the national airline SAA, saying during an investor conference in New York that it should be shut down as it had “no future”.

He also pushed the ANC top brass to condemn his own opinion regarding their decision at the Nasrec 54th national conference to nationalise the central bank, a move criticised by many leading financial movers and shakers.

"It is our view that Comrade Tito should act with care and be cautious at all times on matters of policy given his position as the minister of finance, including subjecting himself to the overall communications protocols of the ANC."

And even during the pandemic, when the Finance Minister stated that he pushed for a total lifting of restrictions against the sale of cigarettes, his party flat-out rejected the proposal despite losing out R1.5billion in revenue since the beginning of lockdown.


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