EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu Picture: @FloydShivambu/Twitter

Johannesburg - The National Treasury says Floyd Shivambu’s recent comments about the department are ignorant and show his lack of understanding of how the Treasury operates. The Treasury said the EFF and Shivambu have abused Parliament’s privilege to shield themselves while they “throw mud” at the department and its staff. 

Shivambu has been widely criticised for calling Treasury deputy director-general Ishamail Momonait “unafrican” and accusing him of undermining African treasury officials. He also accused Momonait of overreaching in his role as the deputy director-general. Shivambu has defended his comments and said the EFF would not apologise for the statements.

The National Treasury, in a statement on Thursday, said Shivambvu’s comments were “vitriol”. “The attack on the integrity of the Ministry of Finance and National Treasury by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is exceptional because of its vitriol and simply the scale of the EFF’s ignorance of the workings of the Treasury and the ministry,” said the department.

“EFF’s attacks on Treasury are based on ignorance of the policy making function of the National Treasury (the department) and the Ministry of Finance (as the executive authority which has oversight over the department), how the Treasury functions and its relationship with the Ministry of Finance. The EFF also displays a gross misunderstanding of parliamentary processes. Furthermore, the EFF has abused parliamentary privilege to throw mud at Treasury staff.”

The department said Shivambu’s issues with the department were  part of his imagination especially his accusations that Mononiat was “micro-managing” Treasury. “No one person is so powerful as to make decisions over the head of the director general or minister.”

“The ministry of finance treats with utmost contempt the EFF’s claims that Momoniat drives an agenda that is against black people. This cannot be. Whenever he has appeared in Parliament, or any other public platform, he has articulated National Treasury policies, policies that have also served and approved by Cabinet,” said the department.

Shivambu has been criticised by the ANC and Parliament’s finance committee for the “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” comments.

Political Bureau