'I never questioned anyone's presence in committee on basis of race'

Floyd Shivambu wants an apology because he denies racially profiling veteran Treasury official, Ismail Momoniat. Finance Committee Chairperson Yunus Carrim says the statement won't be withdrawn.

FILE: EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu wants Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance to withdraw its statement condemning his behaviour at a meeting on Tuesday.

He also wants an apology, because he denies racially profiling veteran Treasury official, Ismail Momoniat.

Shivambu says the events and his remarks have been misrepresented.

He says the statement issued by the Finance Committee is non-sensical and he wants it retracted.

He insists he was exercising his right to freedom of expression, and the committee is jumping to conclusions that his remarks amounted to racial profiling.

“I never questioned anyone's presence in the committee on the basis of race. So even what you are trying to justify is absolute nonsense.”

LISTEN FOR YOURSELF: What exactly did Floyd Shivambu say about Ismail Momoniat (exchange takes place between 3 minutes 40 seconds and 10 minutes 5 seconds)

But he insists that deputy director-general Momoniat has been undermining Treasury leadership.

“There's absolutely nothing with us calling out when people are undermining African leadership, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with accepting the centrality of African leadership in South Africa.”

Finance Committee Chairperson Yunus Carrim says the statement won't be withdrawn, but once audio recordings have been analysed, the committee will qualify its remarks.

The Standing Committee on Finance also says if Shivambu believes its statement of condemnation over his comments this week does not reflect his behaviour, then he should take the matter further.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the committee has re-affirmed its condemnation of Shivambu's comments, including that he questioned on racial grounds the presence of Momoniat at Tuesday’s meeting.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)