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Heated exchanges continue, over finance portfolio committee scuffle

By BO Staff Writer

The Black First Land First (BLF) movement is the latest party to release a statement about a heated argument which ensued between BLF members and ANC MP, Yunus Carrim, yesterday in the joint sitting between the committee of trade and industry and committee of finance.

The revolutionary movement clarified what happened at the public hearing, saying that BLF president, Andile Mngxitama never called the hearing chair, Joan Fubbs, a fascist.

“At no stage did Comrade Mngxitama say that Joan Fubbs is a fascist. What Mngxitama said was that he was subjected to fascist behaviour,” the movement said.

BLF was responding to ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, and parliament itself, which issued statements yesterday saying that BLF had disrupted the hearing.

“In today’s joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, Andile Mngxitama of BLF verbally attacked ANC MP and Chairwoman of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry Cde Joan Fubbs calling her a fascist and threatened to physically assault ANC MP and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Finance Cde Yunnis Carrim,” Mthembu said.

Parliament said, “Parliament condemns the disruption at the joint meeting today of the Standing Committee on Finance and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry by civil society group Black First Land First (BLF).”

What both accounts fail to disclose is that it was ANC MP, Carrim, who walked out of his chair’s seat, all the way down to where BLF was sitting, and started shouting and threatening them to leave.

Carrim had been hostile to BLF since the beginning of the hearing.

“One of the aspects that are not coming out clearly, with all these articles from all these different media houses is that we were seated, we were saying to Carrim he must sit down, he must calm down. He came all the way from where he was seated and was confrontational towards us,” BLF Western Cape Convenor, Ncedisa Mpemnyama (who can be seen standing next to Mngxitama in the video of the hearing below), told Black Opinion.

“We were not the aggressors in the whole fiasco,” he said.

Listen to Mpemnyama explaining the event below:

A basic chronology of events:

Most media houses are reporting that the scuffle ensued right after Mngxitama had said the cutting of his time was fascistic. This is incorrect. What happened?

– Mngxitama gave BLF’s presentation to the public hearing on transformation of the economy. Watch the full presentation below.

– A few minutes into his presentation, 1:56 to be exact, Mngxitama was interrupted by ANC MP, Thandi Vivian Tobias, who said Mngxitama can’t speak about former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan in his absence.

– After 5 minutes, Tobias interrupted again and Carrim then called Mngxitama’s comments about white monopoly capital “crass”. The Chairwoman, Fubbs, said Mngxitama was losing time. She said he had four minutes left, but then corrected herself and said he has 10 minutes. This is when Mngxitama said it was fascistic to say he had lost time when he was not the one disrupting.

– During this time Carrim was silent. The presentation continued until Mngxitama finished.

– A question and answer session happened, where Carrim “was schooled on Marxism,” according to Mngxitama. Carrim got angry and instructed BLF to leave, even going as far as coming down from his chair and confronting BLF members.

Watch the scuffle happening here:

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