Mbalula continues to fire salvo at Gordhan, Derek and Gwamanda

Fikile Mbulula Picture: Chris Collingridge 593

Fikile Mbulula Picture: Chris Collingridge 593

Published Jul 25, 2023


Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has once again taken a swipe at former minister of tourism Derek Hanekom, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Joburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda.

This was during a local government intervention workshop hosted by the ruling party at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Monday.

The event came hot on the heels of the 13th ANC Women’s League elective conference at the weekend.

It also came a day after Mbalula was forced to apologise for his utterances on the need for Gordhan to be removed should he fail to act fast on the Transnet matter.

This comes after Hanekom slammed Mbalula for threatening to remove Gordhan if he did not act fast to fix Transnet during the ANCWL address.

Hanekom responded, saying Mbalula’s comments were uncalled for.

“When you make a statement like this, you need to explain why you are not making a statement about a number of poor-performing ministers. Are you satisfied with your own performance when you were a minister?" Hanekom asked on Sunday.

On Monday, after issuing a reconciliatory statement, Mbalula took aim at both Hanekom and Gordhan.

He also criticised the Joburg mayor, saying he had failed to take charge of the Joburg CBD gas explosion, resulting in Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi having to step in.

Mbalula was forced to apologise for his utterances on the need for Gordhan to be removed should he fail to act fast on the Transnet matter.

Mbalula said after Gordhan complained about his utterances at the weekend, he was forced to change his earlier statement.

“I was forced to change my statement after a certain minister complained about me. That minister could not stop crying and complaining about me. He even cried for the president. I was even lambasted by that freelancer called Derek Hanekom. I will attend to that freelancer; do not worry about him, comrades. That old man wants to respond to everything. I will take care of him,” Mbalula jokingly told those at the workshop.

He said Gwamanda was complaining that Lesufi had overtaken his role in the Joburg CBD gas explosion because Gwamanda was nowhere to be seen.

“They are complaining about Panyaza. Panyaza left everything he was doing and went straight to the scene. I like that. He was there when the explosion happened, but where were we supposed to find the mayor? Who is supposed to knock on Gwamanda’s door? How do you do that because this man does not have qualifications and the sun is setting while he is nowhere to be found? You don’t have matric, but you want to explain yourself; just do the job that you are expected to do,” he said.

Mbalula said his utterances on Gordhan were not an attack, but a call for things to move with speed when it comes to SOEs such as Transnet.

“It was not an attack on Comrade Pravin as a person. I was simply saying we need to move with speed on issues of logistics and freight, and that we need to move with speed on issues of load shedding. We must make progress on these matters because they are major investments in our economy,” he said.

Mbalula said the ruling party had revealed its performance in the past 29 years as well as the past five years under Ramaphosa.

“The report indicates that we have only created 21 000 jobs in the past five years. It has been easy to write off the ANC on the basis of lies. We accept that Ramaphosa created 21 000 jobs, but we will rebut that in spite of the challenges of Covid-19, we have done well,” he said.

Mbalula said Joburg became a mess after the ANC lost power in the city to the DA and other opposition parties. He added that the ruling party ran a city with clean governance.

He urged leaders in local government across the country to lead with integrity, as this would ensure that voters entrust the ANC with their votes.

“Now is the time for a paradigm shift. It is time to look anew at the challenges of local government and the circumstances to which we must respond. It is time to bring about far-reaching changes to make the local government truly developmental,” he said.

The Star