FILE: Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWNPRETORIA – Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has demanded a retraction from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for what he has called a false, racist, and libelous statements about himself and newSouth African Revenue Service (Sars) boss Edward Kieswetter.
Manuel was the chair of the panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to interview and shortlist candidates for the position of Sars commissioner.The Presidency announced on Wednesday that it had accepted the panel’s recommendation to appoint Kieswetter.The EFF claims, without any supporting evidence, that Manuel and Kieswetter are friends and business partners.
Manuel said he would not allow himself to be “abused by schoolyard bullies” such as the EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.“Whilst they are free to hold their warped political views about a Sars commissioner for whatever reason, they have no right to libelous or racist views. I am sure that other individuals named in the EFF statement are quite capable of speaking for themselves, I am not intimidated by these bullies to speak on my own behalf,” Manuel said in an open letter.
Ndlozi issued a statement on Wednesday, claiming that the new Sars boss and Manuel were friends, were in business together and that Manuel unlawfully appointed Kieswetter as deputy commissioner back in 2004.Manuel has warned Ndlozi to withdraw his unsubstantiated claims or face legal action.“Only a mind warped into destruction by apartheid can ever suggest blood-ties between two individuals classified coloured by the apartheid regime when the only connective tissue is racial classification.
The onus now rests on Mr Ndlozi to prove the ties exist.