LISTEN: Was Floyd Shivambu racist in his attack on Ismail Momoniat?

Floyd Shivambu. (Gallo Images)
Floyd Shivambu. (Gallo Images)
Frennie Shivambu

The EFF has reiterated its condemnation of Treasury's deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat, again accusing him of undermining African leadership in the department.

In its second statement released this week in defence of its deputy president Floyd Shivambu, the EFF has also accused the media of distorting Shivambu's comments during a Tuesday parliamentary finance committee sitting.

"We dismiss with contempt the embedded journalistic reporting which has been distorting the EFF deputy president's comments during the portfolio meeting in Parliament when he raised questions about Momoniat's domination of all reports from Treasury when he is not a director general," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

The party has faced a barrage of criticism from various sectors that have condemned Shivambu as racist.

The party has released the audio of the interaction between chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Finance Yunus Carrim, the EFF deputy president and ANC MP Thandi Tobias-Pokolo.  

Listen to Floyd Shivambu's comments here:

Below is the transcript of the interaction.  

Shivambu: Chairperson can I ask a question; why is it that National Treasury is represented by one person on every issue? Is he a parliamentary liaison officer or isn't there leadership in National Treasury like a director general or... some people [who] will have some responsibility here? Why is it that National Treasury is represented by one person every time? Is he responsible for everything? Is he National Treasury?

Tobias-Pokolo: I'm starting to be worried about the abrasive nature at which Floyd is attacking Momo (Momoniat) all the time. It is starting to sound like it's personal. I mean, can you really imagine, we sit here and process who is the representative of National Treasury when we have important things to deal with to a point...I mean...we'd be fiddling with the workings of National Treasury. Do we want specific people? If it is specific people, it should have been by the request of the committee. I mean to always, always raise [unsubstantiated] issues that borders along the lines of undermining individuals…Is there a personal tiff between Momo and Floyd so that it can be dealt and dispensed with? Is it a question that can be entertained in a meeting?

Carrim: Firstly, the main organisation here is the NEDLAC. They are mainly here because they have to answer for preparations for the Financial Sector Summit which the minister announced will be at the end of June. I see your hand but I am explaining who is mainly here. But we thought is let's invite Treasury because they will give us an overview of what they have done in response to the report. I want to make something very clear, I have requested on behalf of the committee a reply to your allegations against Momo. I also think it is very unfair. Once again, I want to repeat I am raising this vigorously before my term ends, how people attack others who can't. I can defend myself I am an MP. But you know to attack Momo in a house debate it was totally uncalled for. I really plead with Floyd, Momo can't reply for himself. We are instructing you, we gave you seven days to reply to his letter and send it to us. Nobody’s integrity...we had the problem with Dudu Myeni, I wrote to Floyd in December 2016 and said it is out of order, I wrote to Richard Mdakane, I wrote to Cedric I spoke to them. I have raised in this committee repeatedly that MPs abuse our rights... to attack people. The only option they have is to go through a petitions process and that is very difficult. So what I want to say is Floyd, can we just stop this thing, it is uncalled for, really. You were not here when he replied, and can we have written reply from the minister. It is not fair not to reply to Floyd. Now, Allan we are instructing you as committee secretary to demand.... by Friday morning we have to have the reply. If not then I will ring the minister directly. But you will get your reply to be tabled here and you will have a right of reply...

Floyd he is in charge of financial sector transformation. We have told people not to come in large numbers Floyd. It's the correct thing. He is overall responsible for this, he is correct, we have the most senior person. If we had other people, people would say the underlings are here where is the manager. The main purpose is to engage with NEDLAC. Can we settle this offline please.

Shivambu: You know the other issue 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 and we must raise it openly and publicly because he is responsible for financial sector transformation. He is responsible for tax policy. Each and every issue that comes here we must then be dealing with one person?  ….

Point of order

Tobias-Pokolo: To even characterise the persona of Momo not to be an African is out of order for an ideology that me and him follow because Momo himself falls under that category of Africans so it's quite absurd to even allow this kind of discussion...Chair we should not allow it.

Carrim: Momo is a former MK underground activist, operation Vula activist who works 25 hours a day, 8eight days a week. I fundamentally disagree with him as he knows on his broad policy at Treasury.

Shivambu: And part of a faction, the cabal that destroyed the movement at that time, you must mention that as well, mention it.

Carrim: Fact is he is not someone who comes from India, he has been here for...generations. I am not going to allow that nonsense. What are we going to say next that Mangope is more important than Mac Maharaj, please no. than Jay Naidoo, no . You come from the same ideology broadly Floyd this is going too far really. What are you going to say next? That Mangope is more important than someone like Ahmed Kathrada. No! Floyd you are letting yourself down, and you are letting Marxism down....

Is he from India?

Shivambu: I am saying he is undermining African the National Treasury.

Carrim: He did not send himself here, he was sent by the DG,

Shivambu: He sent himself.

Tobias-Pokolo: We need to clear this thing, there are matter we can discuss in a meeting, there are matters we can’t. We can't discuss views and opinions that cannot be justified. It must never be allowed…

Carrim: We are done. Ahmed Kathrada is more important than Mangope. Well, that's it. Let's move on.

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