Mboweni claps back at backlash, calls on comrades to adapt to change when it comes to debating party issues

21 January 2020 - 11:29 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Tito Mboweni says people who stick to outmoded politics and policy become, by political definition, irrelevant in the same way as those who shout at a dead baobab tree.
Tito Mboweni says people who stick to outmoded politics and policy become, by political definition, irrelevant in the same way as those who shout at a dead baobab tree.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAYTIMES

Finance minister Tito Mboweni did not take the ANC's attempt to call him to order over his Reserve Bank comments lightly, clapping back on social media.

In a series of tweets, Mboweni gave a vague response to a party statement in which he was called out for his comments on ANC resolutions to nationalise the bank.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe warned Mboweni to tread carefully on matters of policy, given his position as minister of finance.

Mboweni did not mention the ANC in his tweets, but said: “Don’t criminalise those who disagree with your viewpoint.

“Positive debate, disagreements, sometimes conflict of ideas, frustrations with your colleagues or comrades, not anger at one another, creates the impetus for [a] forward movement. That is dialectics.”

The finance minister added: “Throughout political history, those who have no new ideas hide behind name-calling and refer to those who bring up new ways of thinking, the mindset-changers, ill-disciplined.

“That is an old Stalinist way of politics. Change your mindset. Politically Therapeutic! Move with the times.”

He also urged party members to become more flexible when debating party issues.

“Move, change your thinking when material conditions change. Otherwise, you become a political has-been. 'Nothing is stable except stability'.”

Mboweni said change was needed because “politics, by nature, did not allow a vacuum”.

He added: "if the socks do not fit, do not wear them," the finance minister added.

“Numbers are a fundamental and necessary condition in politics, but they are not a sufficient condition for progress in dealing with difficulties and challenges under new material conditions."

Concluding his rant, Mboweni suggested that, in politics, one must always watch one's back and never be nice to back-stabbers.

“Confront them head to head, hand to hand, fist to fist, word for word, tongue for tongue. Don’t give the other cheek,” he said.


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