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Tito Mboweni on factionalism: 'Political history is littered with zillions of examples'

28 July 2021 - 11:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. File photo.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Finance minister Tito Mboweni's latest comments on factionalism and breakaways in politics has sparked mixed reactions online. 

In a cryptic social media thread on Tuesday, Mboweni shared his thoughts on political standard deviation and claimed it was nothing new. 

He said the history of the NAACP and the ANC could be used as examples. 

“Is Bakuninism a new thing? No, it is not. Is factionalism in politics new? No, it is not. Are breakaway factions a new thing? No, they are not,” said Mboweni.

“Political history is littered with zillions of examples in this regard. Look at the history of the NAACP or the ANC for that matter.”

According to the Merriam-Webster website, Bakuninism is a doctrine of revolutionary anarchism.

Mboweni said for people to understand the repeated rise and fall in politics, one needs a sense of the “political standard deviation”. 

“Where are things going which accord with your own ethics, values and 'beliefs'. Sometimes, the ship might be sailing in the wrong direction. Jump before you are pushed but don’t drown,” he said.

Attempts to get further comment from Mboweni were unsuccessful at the time of publishing this story. Comment will be included once received.

On social media, the finance minister's comments drew mixed reactions as some said he had the knowledge but failed “to apply it in reality”.

Others questioned whether the minister was basically “confirming and validating” the current situation in the ANC.

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say.