'The passion he has for the ANC is deep': Mboweni on Malema’s comment on ANC 'removing' Magashule

06 April 2021 - 09:32
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has weighed in on EFF leader Julius Malema's assertion that removing ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule from the party would be an “attack from the belly”. 

On Monday, Mboweni mocked Malema saying he “felt” for him and that his passion for the ruling party's affairs was “deep deep”. 

“His last interview on ANC SG was from the deep ANC heart. It’s going to be OK homeboy. It will be fine,” Mboweni tweeted.

Malema spoke at a media conference last week and slammed the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) decision to ask leaders facing criminal charges to step aside within 30 days or risk being suspended.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa made the call during his closing address to the NEC.

Ramaphosa said all ANC members charged with wrongdoing, including Magashule, should step aside, failing which they should be suspended in terms of rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution.

Magashule faces corruption charges linked to a R230m asbestos eradication tender awarded during his time as Free State premier. He is now out on R200,000 bail.

According to Malema, the move to remove leaders would collapse the party rather than strengthen it.

“Cyril is making a big mistake. He is badly advised. You cannot just sit in a bathroom and remove a secretary-general,” he said.

“I don't think they know what the position includes. From the comfort of your own home, just with a smell of Rajah [spice], you remove an SG ... I don't think he knows what he's talking about.

“But maybe he saw they are disorganised, the Magashules themselves. The position is not a position you just wake up and attack. It is the belly of the party, so you are attacking the party from the belly, you are collapsing it.”

Echoing Malema's statement, Magashule said he was not going anywhere.

“I am not going anywhere. I listened to Julius Malema. I am a member of the ANC. I will remain in the ANC until I die.”