National Treasury on Thursday criticized  Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy leader Floyd Shivambu’s attack on finance deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat, calling it vitriolic and baseless.

Treasury said Shivambu’s contention that Momoniat was undermining African leadership at the finance department showed a deep misunderstanding of its functioning.

It stressed he had served Treasury for 23 years and had held his current position of deputy director-general for tax and financial sector policy for a decade, adding: “It is patently clear that Momoniat is the right person to represent Treasury on all tax and financial-sector policy-related matters.

“It is, therefore, a figment of the EFF’s imagination that Momoniat has usurped the powers of the minister, the director-general and other fellow DDGs. The development of policy proposals in the Treasury and their ultimate approval by the minister of finance is governed by clearly articulated policies and by proper governance structures.”F

urther explaining the structures of authority in the department, it added: “Policy, regulatory, procurement and employment decisions are made by way of written memoranda, which ultimately make recommendations to the Director-General and/or Minister, and are signed off by them. No one person is so powerful as to make decisions over the head of the DG or Minister.”

On Tuesday, Shivambu triggered a storm when he objected to Momoniat briefing the standing committee on finance. Shivambu is reported to have said: “I think he undermines Africans. He does not take the director-general, the finance minister or the deputy finance minister seriously. He thinks he is superior to them. He takes all the decisions, and he is always here in Parliament as if he is National Treasury alone. He is supposed to focus on what he is assigned to.”

It drew a sharp rebuke from committee chairman Yunus Carrim and prompted African National Congress (ANC) MPs to defend Momoniat as a loyal and respected public servant. ')}

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National Treasury on Thursday criticized  Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy leader Floyd Shivambu’s attack on finance deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat, calling it vitriolic and baseless. Treasury said Shivambu’s contention that Momoniat was undermining African leadership at the finance department showed a deep misunderstanding of its functioning. It stressed he had served...