South Africa: SARB Mandate Meltdown - Ramaphosa and Magashule's Public Spats Intensify

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule.

The ongoing battle for the SA Reserve Bank within the ANC went onto Twitter with party secretary-general Ace Magashule once again contradicting president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Minutes after Ramaphosa issued a statement reaffirming the mandate of the reserve bank, Magashule posted on Twitter that the party's NEC lekgotla had resolved to expand the mandate beyond price stability to include employment and growth.

In an unprecedented move following public outcry and confusion, Ramaphosa said: "The officials emphasised the policy positions of the ANC on the independence and role of the SARB as set out in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa [which is] protecting 'the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth".

Magashule's Twitter post, which he has since claimed was "fake" has now been taken down.

While Magashule claimed the Tweet was fake, users are able to copy the Tweet's unique Uniform Resource Locator (URL), more commonly known as the web address, using the desktop Twitter website. Twitter generates a unique series of numbers for every single Tweet sent. The URL shows beyond doubt the Tweet was sent from Magashule's account, and later deleted.

It has come to my attention that there is a fake tweet doing the rounds alleged to be from my account. The Officials have met today and we have agreed to the below statement. All ANC members who love Tweeting and expressing themselves are to adhere to this line of march. Ace Magashule (OFFICIAL) (@Magashule_Ace) June 6, 2019

The top six of the ANC met on Thursday expressing a desire to have the Reserve Bank publicly owned, he said.

This as per the resolution of the party's Nasrec conference.

"However we recognise that this will come at a cost, which given our current economic and and fiscal situation is simply not prudent," Ramaphosa said in the statement.

The spat between Ramaphosa and Magashule follows days of contradicting statements by ANC senior leaders.

Magashule first made this statement on Tuesday when he addressed the media on the outcomes of the NEC lekgotla. He said while the party would expand the mandate of the Reserve Bank, this did not mean amending the Constitution.

A tweet exactly the same as Thursday's was sent out from his account soon after his statement to the media, but in this tweet, he had CC-ed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

The ANC NEC Lekgotla agreed to expand the mandate of the SARB beyond price stability to include growth and employment.Cc: @tito_mboweni Ace Magashule (OFFICIAL) (@Magashule_Ace) June 4, 2019

In an attempt to quell growing fears from the markets and investors, ANC's economic transformation head Enoch Godongwana raced to television interviews to refute Magashule's statement. He said the NEC lekgotla had no policy making decisions.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni reiterated Godongwana's statement shortly afterwards, also on Twitter.

NEC member Tony Yengeni and senior ANC member Mzwandile Masina have also taken to social media to reaffirm Magashule's statement on the policy mandate.

According to the ANC's Nasrec conference, the party resolved that the Reserve Bank should be 100% owned by the state.

"Government must develop a proposal to ensure full public ownership in a manner that does not benefit private shareholder speculators," the ANC document states.

Source: News24

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