11 June 2018

South Africa: When the Art of Letter Writing Is a Weapon of Politicking


Letters. They don't often come before parliamentary committees, unless it's an official saying why he or she was unavailable to keep a date with MPs. But it's been that kind of a week in which various letters, alongside the usual statements, put an interesting twist on what unfolded publicly. And then there were others that followed in a flurry as politicians seem to rediscover the art of letter writing - for politicking.

One letter outstanding since May was the response by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to a letter that EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu on Thursday said was written three weeks back regarding "allegations of corruption" and other matters related to National Treasury. Yunus Carrim, the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance Committee, promised Shivambu he'd fire off another letter, this time an official committee letter, to Nene, with a deadline, to respond.

Whether any ministerial response will be made public remains to be seen. But it was one of several missives that emerged in Thursday's bruising finance committee meeting as it traversed the fallout of Tuesday's comment by Shivambu that National Treasury Deputy Director Ismail Momoniat "is undermining African leadership"...

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