Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ahead of his budget speech on Wednesday.
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said on Tuesday evening Gigaba was "a Gupta stooge" who was part of the engine of state capture under former president Jacob Zuma.
"We need not describe how critical a Minister of Finance is to Ramaphosa because he knows that the removal of Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan was a move to capture the public purse directly by the Gupta family.
"Without a compliant stooge as Finance Minister, they could not direct the funds of our country to their benefit with projects like the nuclear deal," he said.
Ndlozi said the EFF would oppose a budget regime that raised Value Added Tax and targeted the personal income of lower paid workers as a means to raise revenue.
Ndlozi said to raise the Value Added and Income Tax would be to take more from individuals who already had loads of burdens to take care of.
"The rich must be taxed to support the poor, and the rich in this case are the big companies that make huge profits and pay workers peanuts," he said.
'Gigaba must fall'
Ndlozi said the EFF rejected Gigaba and would boycott the budget vote if it was him who was presenting it.
"Gigaba must fall and must fall yesterday. He is the polluted dark smoke hovering over the supposedly new dawn of Ramaphosa's administration," he said.
"To avoid disruptions, we will stay away from the house for the entire country to see that Ramaphosa is sustaining the legacy of disreputable ministers like Gigaba, awarding them with the privilege of presenting the country's budget which they have ensured it benefits corrupt interests of the Gupta syndicate," he said.
"If this is truly a new dawn, why must a disreputable, corrupt and unpatriotic Gigaba present the budget?"
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