Senzo Mchunu desperately turns to childish insults – Leon Schreiber

DA MP says Minister couldn’t dispute fact that public servants continued to get paid despite less or no work

Would the ANC have persisted with brutal lockdown if cadres like Senzo Mchunu also felt the pain?

12 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is disgusted by the latest utterances made by the Minister for Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu.

After the DA last week exposed the fact that the government spent about R11 billion on salaries for 84 000 state officials who were not working during lockdown – at the same time that at least three million people lost their jobs in the private sector due to the ANC lockdown crisis – Mchunu yesterday responded with a classless and rambling statement defending government wastage.

Under relentless pressure from the DA, Mchunu’s latest statement sought to deflect legitimate questions about the government’s fiscal irresponsibility by using obfuscation and personal invective.

In seeking to deny the facts exposed by the DA, Mchunu conveniently ignores that it was his very own reply to a parliamentary question which stated that “during the national lockdown all public servants will continue to receive their full salaries.”

It was also Mchunu himself who provided figures showing that over 84 000 officials continued to be paid from taxpayer funds even though they – in Mchunu’s own words – “had their workloads reduced significantly.”

Unable to dispute the facts that he personally put on the table, Mchunu desperately turned to childish insults wholly unbecoming of a member of Cabinet.

First he bizarrely accused the DA of “making all these claims with a mouth full of salaries.” Then he attacked a Member of Parliament for supposedly “not [understanding] anything outside of the DA.” This also follows after Mchunu was recently forced in Parliament to withdraw his disrespectful statement that a fellow MP “is a liar.”

Sadly, Mchunu’s rapidly degenerating behaviour seems to be in keeping with recent reports of his fellow ANC cadres, including Lebogang Maile and Boy Mamabolo, verbally assaulting citizens, who are more fed up than ever with his party’s looting orgy.

The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to instruct Mchunu to issue a public apology for language so utterly unbecoming of a Cabinet minister.

More importantly, the DA is deeply alarmed that Mchunu continues to defend the estimated R11 billion in taxpayer money spent on salaries for 84 000 state officials to do next to nothing during the lockdown, while at least three million private sector workers lost all they had.

Under their destructive lockdown, the ANC government forced private sector workers to give up their salaries and instead rely on what Mchunu meekly calls “some measures that government could afford” – including the failing TERS system.

If the government was confident that TERS payments could sustain South Africans during the crisis, why did it not mandate its own officials who were not working to also depend on TERS to survive?

The DA reiterates our view that it is a national scandal that the ANC gladly sacrificed over three million private sector livelihoods while spending R11 billion to protect the salaries of cadres and officials who did next to no work during the lockdown.

Mchunu’s breathless claim that “there is no classification of non-essential public servants” also stands in stark contrast to his government’s zealous declaration of vast sections of our private economy as “non-essential.”

Mchunu’s flagrant hypocrisy confirms that the ANC has nothing but utter contempt for hard-working private sector workers. Regardless of the amount of personal insults hurled by an increasingly desperate government, the DA will never apologise for fighting on the side of our productive workers and job-creation heroes in the private sector.

When Minister Mchunu is done spitting invective at the DA, perhaps he could answer a simple question: would the ANC and its President have so gleefully implemented a brutal and devastating lockdown on our already struggling economy if its own politicians, officials and cadres also felt the financial pain currently being experienced by millions of citizens in the private sector?

Issued by Leon Schreiber,DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration, 12 August 2020