We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Tito Mboweni accused of 'trivialising' the death of a man killed during Wits protest, later apologises

11 March 2021 - 08:21 By cebelihle bhengu
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

Finance minister Tito Mboweni faced backlash on Wednesday after he tweeted that no student was killed during the Wits protests, calling it fake news.

A man believed to be in his 30s was shot dead in Braamfontein, allegedly by police. Students who witnessed the incident told TimesLIVE that he had exited a local clinic when he was fatally shot as police dispersed protesters.

In a now-deleted tweet, Mboweni refuted claims on social media that the man was a student.

“My information is that there was no student who was killed! Fake news circulating. No deserving student will be left out. Minister Nzimande will deal with the matter tomorrow.”

EFF leader Julius Malema asked Mboweni for empathy, saying it didn't matter whether the man shot dead was a student or not.

African Transformation leader Mzwanele Manyi echoed his view.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also responded to Mboweni and accused him of “incapacity to show remorse”. 

Mboweni later issued an apology, saying he had not expressed himself clearly. He also conveyed condolences to the man's family.

The apology triggered a response from One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane, who told the minister to address the grievances of students.

“You are not a bystander, you are the minister of finance.”