Malusi Gigaba at a news conference in Pretoria, after he was announced as the new Finance Minister by President Jacob Zuma, on March 31, replacing Pravin Gordhan, who was sacked. Picture: AP
Cape Town – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba must now act decisively and fire his economic advisor Chris Malikane for suggesting that people “take up arms” to achieve “radical economic transformation” in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

Gigaba states that Malikane has been “reined in” and told to “keep quiet”, but Malikane states Gigaba cannot tell him to “keep his mouth shut”, DA spokesman David Maynier said. Up until now, Malikane had made a fool of Gigaba by ignoring his instruction to “keep quiet”.

However, things had now come to a head – Malikane crossed a “red line” in South Africa's constitutional democracy when he pivoted from warning about “civil war” to calling for “civil war” in South Africa.

Speaking at an event on Saturday night, Malikane reportedly suggested that people may have to “take up arms” to achieve “radical economic transformation” in South Africa.

"The fact is that it is complete madness for the minister’s economic advisor to be allowed to suggest that people 'take up arms' to achieve 'radical economic transformation' in South Africa.

Prof Chris Malikane

"These are exactly the kind of reckless statements that undermine investor confidence and discourage private sector investment, which are desperately needed to boost economic growth and create jobs in South Africa," Maynier said.

Gigaba now had to try to save himself by acting decisively to stop the bleeding by immediately making a public statement distancing himself from his economic advisor’s mad ideas, and firing Malikane as his economic advisor at National Treasury.

In the end, Gigaba could run but he could not hide from “Malikanegate” because during question time in the National Assembly on May 10 the DA would be holding Gigaba's "feet to the fire for his reckless decision" to appoint Malikane, Maynier said.