Carrim to Shivambu: ‘Stop your nonsense!’
“Hey‚ Mr [Floyd] Shivambu‚ as I once said in the public domain‚ I’d rather die than be corrupt! So just stop your nonsense!”
That was Parliament’s finance committee chairperson‚ Yunus Carrim’s response on Wednesday to what he referred to as an “absurd” letter by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chief whip.
This comes after a heated exchange in a committee meeting on Tuesday when Shivambu objected to a Treasury representative because he was not an African.
Shivambu objected to the repeated presence of Treasury deputy director general Ismail Momoniat at committee meetings and asked why director general Dondo Mogajane did not appear. He said this undermined African “representativeness”.
Carrim was furious‚ calling Shivambu to order and saying that Momoniat was a veteran in the underground struggle against apartheid.
Shivambu wrote Carrim a letter on Wednesday in which he asked if Carrim had a personal relationship with Momoniat and if they had ever travelled together on a government visit to the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Carrim was not amused.
“No. I have no personal relationship with Mr Ismail Momoniat!
“I can’t recall ever interacting with him socially‚ or outside a work relationship‚ except once.”
Carrim said he had “NEVER EVER travelled on ANY domestic or international flight with Mr Momoniat”.
Carrim said he had only met Momoniat once during an international visit when Momoniat had been chatting to former committee chairperson Charel de Beer in the foyer.
“Oh‚ and by the way‚ I bumped into the Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago as he came out of the lift in a building and shook his hands‚ but‚ no‚ we didn’t collude on anything either.”
National Treasury also criticised Shivambu in a statement on Thursday.
“The attack on the integrity of the Ministry of Finance and National Treasury by the EFF is exceptional because of its vitriol and simply the scale of the EFF’s ignorance of the workings of the Treasury and the ministry‚” Treasury said.
“The EFF’s attacks on Treasury are based on ignorance of the policy-making function of the National Treasury (the department) and the Ministry of Finance (as the executive authority which has oversight over the department)‚ how the Treasury functions and its relationship with the Ministry of Finance.
“The EFF also displays a gross misunderstanding of parliamentary processes. Furthermore‚ the EFF has abused parliamentary privilege to throw mud at Treasury staff.”