DURBAN, South Africa – The EFF has given Finance Minister Tito Mboweni seven days to fire disgraced former Sunday Times political journalist, Ranjeni Munusamy.
In a tweet, Mboweni shared a screenshot of a virtual meeting of his team. The minister was left red-faced when some Twitter users noticed that Munusamy was among the team of seven people in the screenshot (Mboweni excluded).
“The core MTBPS speech drafting Team meeting today, October 20, 2020. to work on how to frame the speech. This is how it works: based on the Cabinet budget fiscal framework, different teams in the National Treasury write chapters in the big document, the core team drafts the speech,” reads Mboweni’s tweet.
The EFF issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was inconceivable that Mboweni hired Munusamy when she was yet to clear her name regarding allegations she illegally benefited from the abuse of the country’s crime intelligence slush fund.
The party’s statement was in addition to a growing uproar over Mboweni’s decision to hire the journalist, who in her career courted controversy and switched allegiance between ANC factions.
Some Twitter users questioned how Mboweni could employ Munusamy when, in September last year, Colonel Kobus Roelofse, a police investigator, told the state capture commission she unduly benefited from the rampant abuse of the crime intelligence slush fund.
Roelofse was investigating the abuse, which allegedly happened under the watch of Richard Mdluli, when he got information that around 2008, Munusamy ran into financial difficulties. As a result, money from the fund was used to pay off a vehicle debt of R143 621.78 to WesBank Vehicle Finance.
In their call, the EFF, which has a strained history with Munusamy, said she must go.
“We demand that the minister of finance must immediately discontinue any contractual and employment relationship with Ranjeni Munusamy, until the, thus far solid and believable, allegations have been cleared beyond any reasonable doubt. We give the minister a period of seven days to discontinue the employment of Ranjeni Munusamy or we will approach the relevant authorities and institutions to do it on his behalf,” the party said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the national treasury, Mashudu Masutha, said Munusamy was employed in the office of Mboweni – not in the department.
“Ms Ranjeni Munusamy is appointed in the Ministry of Finance as a community outreach officer. It is the prerogative of the minister who he appoints to his team as per the prescripts of the ministerial handbook,” Mashudu said when asked about the controversial employment.
Mboweni was yet to respond to Independent Media’s questions about why he saw it fit to hire Munusamy.