Comments were taken out of context, says deputy president
Deputy president David Mabuza has defended comments he made in parliament that he does not take finance minister Tito Mboweni “serious”. Speaking publicly for the first time since he made the remarks this week, Mabuza said the remarks were taken out of context.
“People are taking my response out of context. The point that I was driving home is that it would be very difficult for me to follow social media... people tweeting, responding to issues on social media,” said Mabuza on the sidelines of the ANC election blitz in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, on Thursday.
During an oral question in parliament on Tuesday, DA MP Natasha Mazzone wanted to know if the deputy president supported Mboweni’s proposals that struggling state-owned entities should be privatised. In his response, Mabuza said he does not take the finance minister seriously on the matter as that was not the position of the government.
"These are his own comments... We'll take the minister seriously when he's articulating government positions. When he's talking about his views, when he's tweeting, that's his own [opinion]. I am not going to entertain a tweet by the minister. I am not going to take that seriously, it's not a government position, thank you very much," the deputy president said at the time.
Accompanied by ANC Gauteng deputy chairperson and education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday, Mabuza said he probably should not take tweets and elevate them “to something important”.
However, he said he regards Mboweni as a capable leader of the organisation and is confident in his work. “I know the finance minister is a very reputable minister and very groomed up cadre of the ANC. I trust that he has not taken that comment by the DA in a very bad light. But me and the minister have spoken and I think we are fine. I have confidence in the minister of finance.”
Turning to his expectations come election day on May 8, Mabuza said he was confident that the ANC would win many votes in Gauteng.
"The mood is very good and people want to see the ANC growing more and more. I am happy that the ANC is regaining its lost ground. I can tell you that come election day, the ANC will emerge victorious."
In the 2016 local government elections the ANC lost two metros, the City of Joburg and City of Tshwane and the party governs the City of Ekurhuleni through a coalition.