‘Pay back the money today, tea tomorrow’: Mboweni & Malema smoke peace pipe after Zuma shade

Finance minister Tito Mboweni criticised the lack of social distancing and wearing of masks at last week's meeting between former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni criticised the lack of social distancing and wearing of masks at last week's meeting between former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES

Beef? What beef? 

Tito Mboweni and Julius Malema have moved to clear the air over claims of “beef” between them after the finance minister criticised the EFF leader’s meeting with his one-time nemesis former president Jacob Zuma.

Malema and Zuma meet on Friday over “nice, sweet and very hot” tea that has since had the country speculating on what the two might have talked about.

Malema requested the tea date after Zuma announced he would not heed the Constitutional Court ruling that he appear before the state capture inquiry. Zuma said he does not fear going to prison should his decision to not co-operate with the ruling be considered a violation of the law.

Zuma is expected to appear before the inquiry on February 15.

According to EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo, the true intention of the meeting between the two politicians was about having tea and “a meeting of black people”. 

“The EFF is not going to participate in an unending speculation game around a meeting with the former president that has been explicitly made clear was nothing more than a meeting over tea,” said Pambo.

In a cryptic tweet, Mboweni said strange political alliances were “emerging in democratic SA”. 

“My foe today, my friend tomorrow. No principled political positions. Wow! So a spade could become a big spoon,” said Mboweni.

He said Malema had gone from demanding Zuma “pay back the money” to having tea with his one-time rival.  

Mboweni also criticised the lack of social distancing and wearing of marks during the meeting.

In a later tweet Mboweni assured his followers he and Malema had no longer had “issues”, saying they had a “good conversation”.

Mboweni hinted at the pair maybe having lunch in the future, with Covid-19 safety protocols observed.


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