Tito’s intriguing political advice: Don’t be nice to people who plot against you

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has continued using his Twitter account to freely comment on South Africa’s political landscape, particularly the African National Congress (ANC).

In an intriguing tweet on Monday, he dished out political advice and left his followers guessing as to whom it was directed.

He wrote, “In politics, never try to be nice to people who hate and plot against you. Confront them head to head, hand to hand, fist to fist, word for word, tongue for tongue. Don’t give the other cheek.”

‘Give that advice to your President’

A number of Twitter users speculated that Mboweni should proffer that piece of advice to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

There is a growing belief that Ramaphosa should boldly confront his detractors in the ANC instead of pursuing his mantra of unity.

However, in an interview with SABC News after delivering the ANC’s January 8 statement earlier this month, Ramaphosa said he’s not a dictatorial President.

He said, “If people want a dictatorial President, they’ve knocked at the wrong door. I will never be. Throughout my leadership process, I’ve always been a leader who leads from the front, but leads people knowing that we’re taking people along, we discuss matters, and we mould consensus.”

‘Don’t criminalise those who disagree with you’

In several other tweets on Sunday, Mboweni also challenged the ANC to allow positive debate and disagreements within the party.

The ANC recently criticised him for stating that adopting a resolution to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) was a “wrong” decision.

Mboweni said on Sunday that such disagreements and “conflict of ideas” create impetus for “forward movement.”

“Throughout political history, those who have no new ideas hide behind name calling and refer to those who bring up new ways of thinking, the mindset changers, as ill-disciplined. That is an old Stalinist way of politics. Change your mindset. Politically therapeutic! Move with the times,” he tweeted.

Mboweni added, “There is nothing as reactionary as sticking to outmoded ways of thinking and of doing things! Inertia is what [it] is called in politics.

“Move, change your thinking when material conditions change. Otherwise you become a political has-been. ‘Nothing is STABLE except STABILITY!'”

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