Shivambu under fire for race jibe
THE political temperature in the country has climbed since EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu’s attack last week on Ismail Momoniat, the deputy director-general of National Treasury.
Shivambu dropped jaws when he labelled Momoniat a non-African, inferring that as an Indian he should not be in a leadership position.
He was immediately taken to task by ANC MP Thandi Tobias-Pokolo and Yunus Carrim, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance.
Said Carrim: “Of course, you can’t have non-racialism without African leadership, but you also cannot exclude non-Africans simply on the basis of their race. What next?
“Are we going to dismiss the contribution of Ahmed Kathrada, Joe Slovo, Helen Joseph and Dulcie September simply on the grounds of race? We don’t have to compromise one iota on the need for African leadership, while accepting the role of outstanding public servants like Mr Momoniat.”
Carrim and Shivambu further traded blows in an angry exchange of media statements.
The EFF later said it had long observed a “phenomenon” within Treasury that Africans are often considered and treated as not worthy and capable of leading finance.
Momoniat is a veteran in the freedom Struggle and is a former Umkhonto we Sizwe and Operation Vula operative. Carrim told
POST that so many people, “not least African comrades”, had come to Momoniat’s defence “and this suggests how much the contribution of this Struggle veteran is valued”.
MF leader Shameen Thakur Rajbansi accused Shivambu of always being “antagonistic, to anyone non-black African”.
“His behaviour to Mr Momoniat is unwarranted and smacks of political ignorance.
“It’s clear that the EFF is hell bent on ensuring that all government jobs belong to black Africans only, even if not merited,” she told POST.
“There is total disregard for Indians and coloureds, given their Struggle history and merit for jobs, together with black Africans.
“There is no place for a misanthrope like Floyd Shivambu in politics. He should be expelled from Parliament.”
Former eThekwini speaker Logie Naidoo described Shivambu’s attack on Momoniat as “reckless, racially inspired and a calculated manoeuvre”.
“Ismail is a dedicated public servant, committed to serving the people of South Africa, good governance and a corruption free country. South Africa belongs to all who live in it – black and white,” Naidoo said.
“Black is African, Indian and coloured. Those who were part of our freedom Struggle embrace these values. The question to Shivambu should be, what is your agenda?”
Shivambu could not be reached for comment.