UPDATE: ANC Apologies To Gordhan And Mchunu

ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa talks to his deputy DD Mabuza and ANC Treasure General, Paul Mashatile during a special NEC meeting held in East London ahead of the ANC 106 birthday celebrations. PICTURE: Masi Losi

The ANC has finally apologies to Minister Gordhan and Mchunu after the party “has established that their remarks were taken out of context.”

On Thursday, Minister Pravin Gordhan demanded an apology from the ANC and that the party retracts its statement issued on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the ANC issued a statement where the party distances itself from both Gordhan and Senzo Mchunu for launching scathing attacks on black professionals. The party said in the statement it distances itself from Gordhan and Mchunu and that it will seek to engage with them.

However, in a letter addressed to ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule on Thursday, Gordhan says he rejects the ANC’s statement and that he finds it “extremely offensive”.

“I want to state emphatically that I have not made any statements diminishing the status of black engineers,” Gordhan’s letter reads.

Over the weekend, former KwaZulu-Natal premier, Mchunu was quoted in the City Press newspaper saying that the country will regret calling some of black managers “people of excellence” because they were “fake”. 

“What has happened in most of the parastatals is that those people whom we trusted, who are indeed black managers proved to be fake. They became excellent in failure and looting,” Mchunu was quoted saying.

Gordhan and Mchunu’s attacks on black professional were met with strong criticism from many quarters of society including the Black Management Forum. 

BMF president Andile Nomlala said they acknowledged that the utility has over the years been engulfed by a gross failure in corporate governance and ethical leadership.

Nomlala however, also took a swipe at the ruling party for appointing unqualified executives to run State-owned companies.

“It is actually astonishing that politicians are now putting blame on black managers, yet we have learnt from the State capture commission the fervent pressure politicians have been putting on professionals to do wrong things,” Nomlala was quoted by Independent Media. 

“It would appear that some individuals at Luthuli House give more credence to the orchestrated utterances of individuals like Matshela Koko who has done so much damage at Eskom. Accordingly, I must insist on a retraction and an apology from the ANC spokesperson,” Gordhan said in an email. 

However, the ANC has issued another statement of Thursday evening saying “following a thorough investigation on statements attributed to both Minister of Public Enterprises, Cde Pravin Gordhan and the ANC head of Organizing, Cde Senzo Mchunu, has established that their remarks were taken out of context.”

“The ANC believes that it is important to have such engagements on an ongoing basis in order to discuss issues of mutual interest and find a common ground.

“The ANC, within its structures, has a wide range of progressive professional bodies and has worked very hard to build and maintain the progressive and revolutionary relationships.

“The ANC remains committed to supporting black professionals, academics and entrepreneurs across sectors and believes that they are important roleplayers in our economy,” reads the statement.