Finance Minister Tito Mboweni must go because he undermines the ANC and does as he wishes, Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) president Zizamele Cebekhulu told union delegates in Durban on Tuesday.
Delivering a political overview on the first day of the Popcru’s ninth elective congress at the International Convention Center, Cebekhulu said the ANC had been hijacked by criminals and corrupt elements while those who were committed to transformation had taken the back seat.
He said Mboweni had behaved the same as Trevor Manual, the former minister under whom the unpopular Growth Employment and Redistribution (Gear) was introduced in the 90s.
“He (Mboweni) lives in his own world,” said Cebekhulu.
The event, which is due to end with a rally at Curries Fountain Stadium, began in a politically charged mood with speaker after speaker launching attacks on their opponents within and outside the ANC.
Cebekhulu lashed out at Mboweni for recently releasing a policy statement towards economic growth and reform in South Africa, which was a strategy aimed at aligning government's economic approach towards achieving economic growth, economic transformation and competitiveness.
“Such policy position was not an ANC policy position, but a paper released by a government department.
“The ANC interacted for the first time with this policy during a national executive committee sitting in September 2019.
“Mboweni’s attitude and approach was not the first time he displayed this attitude as he did the same earlier in 2019 when he took an arrogant standpoint against the proposal of the Gauteng e-toll system,” said Cebekhulu.
Cebekhulu said Mboweni had displayed an attitude towards ANC formal structures such as Gauteng provincial congress, which had called for the scrapping of e-tolls.
“Mboweni’s approach will only succeed in steering political instability within the alliance, which is not good for the country’s economy.
“This is what happened in 1996 when the Gear was introduced by Trevor Manuel as he emphasised that this paper is non-negotiable,” said Cebekhulu.
He said Mboweni believed that his paper was an “Alpha and Omega” in stimulating the country’s economy. He said Mboweni, like all his predecessors had taken decisions that were a “backlash at the workers”.
“What Tito introduced here is not new as this is what Trevor Manuel has done, and they are telling us on the face that we can go to elections and elect government and all ministers belong to you, but ministers of finance don’t belong to you, they belong to a particular control.
“That must come to an end because we are not going to be able to transform our society politically, economically and otherwise if that ministry is still in the hands of Tito,” he said.
He warned Cosatu members against seeking peace in the alliance by “embracing anything that has history that has led to where we are”.
“It time you stand up to say Tito must go. We want to say to the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) that Tito must go. The president can say something, but he (Mboweni) would freely contradict the president,” said Cebekhulu.
* This story will be updated with Mboweni's response.