POLITICAL NEWS - In a statement on Monday, the EFF called for the African continent to reject former finance minister Trevor Manuel’s appointment as an African Union (AU) envoy.
They called him a “puppet” of “white monopoly capital” who advocated “neo-colonial solutions” and had allegedly failed as an investment envoy for President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The party also alleged that his faith in foreign direct investment was misplaced.
The party has a bitter history with Manuel, particularly after they were found guilty last year of defaming him. The High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the EFF had 24 hours to remove statements about Manuel from all the party’s media platforms and that it should apologise to him after they were found to be “defamatory and false”.
The party was also ordered to pay damages of R500,000, which Manuel said he would donate to charity. It was also ruled that the three respondents must pay Manuel’s legal costs.
The party, as well as Malema and then spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, were interdicted by the court “from publishing any statement” that says or implies that Manuel “is engaged in corruption and nepotism in the selection of the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service”.
In his judgment, Judge J Matojane said the party’s conduct and that of Ndlozi and Malema had been “egregious and hurtful”.
On Sunday, as chairperson of the African Union, Ramaphosa appointed four special envoys to “mobilise international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges African countries will face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Manuel was named along with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Donald Kaberuka, and Tidjane Thiam.
The special envoys would be tasked with “soliciting rapid and concrete support as pledged by the G20, the European Union and other international financial institutions”.
Manuel was the longest-serving minister of finance in South Africa and formerly headed the country’s National Planning Commission. In 2018 he was appointed as an investment envoy by Ramaphosa to engage domestic and international investors as part of the country’s national investment drive.