Finance Minster Tito Mboweni clarified his latest tweets - which sparked speculation that he might leave National Treasury - to say that he had no plans to leave his ministerial position.
Mboweni tweeted on Friday afternoon that it "is good to retire gracefully," resulting in questions about who the minister was referring to and what caused him to put this observation on social media.
The finance minister's tweet sparked furious speculation among his followers, with hundreds of reactions to his cryptic statement.
During a photo opportunity engagement on the sidelines of the African National Congress' National Executive Committee lekgotla in Pretoria on Friday afternoon, Mboweni was asked by South African Broadcast Corporation journalist Samkele Maseko whether the tweets meant he was resigning.
"Resigning from where? No, no, no. I was referring to heads of state who have overstayed their welcome. I'm not a head of state," Mboweni said.
Mboweni, who is set to head SA's delegation to the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos next week, sent the tweet at 13:00 on Friday.
"Politics and Longevity. Political history shows that overstaying your time in office is bad. Unlike royalty, you may be ejected from State House in an undignified manner. It is good to retire gracefully".
— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) January 17, 2020
Some thought Mboweni was indicating that he was about to step down after a recent spat with his ANC colleagues about the fate of the Reserve Bank.
Others speculated that he may be referring to some of his colleagues:
After taking a break from Twitter late last year, Mboweni has in recent weeks frequently tweeted his views on issues of the day.
Earlier in week he was reprimanded by the ANC after he tweeted that he believed a previous ANC resolution to nationalise the Reserve Bank was wrong.
As a long standing member of the ANC and its leadership structures, I know and understand our resolutions.I don’t need lectures on that.But on the SARB, I am convinced that we adopted a wrong resolution. What do we want to achieve?Our Strategic focus:Structural Economic Reforms.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) January 14, 2020