Here’s what Tito Mboweni’s ‘retire gracefully’ tweet could have meant_1

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has social media users in a tizz about his employment status after he posted a cryptic message about “overstaying your time in office,” on Friday 17 January 2020.   


Mboweni, who is among those set to lead South Africa’s delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos later this month, posted the message on Friday just as the ANC’s National Executive Committee was meeting to discuss Eskom and other State-Owned Entities (SOEs). 


“Politics and Longevity. Political history shows that overstaying your time in office is bad. Unlike royalty, you may be ejected from State House in an undignified manner. It is good to retire gracefully,” Mboweni’s tweet said.  

Here’s what Mboweni’s tweet could have meant 


Mboweni seems to question how sustainable it is to be in the field of politics. He questions how long one can survive or maintain themselves in a political environment. The word longevity means long life, long existence or long service. 


Mboweni then goes on to say that “political history” has shown that overstaying your time in office is bad. Who could he be referring to here, you ask? Perhaps former president, Jacob Zuma? Perhaps Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan? We can never be sure. 


However, as far as one can suspect, an incident which landed Mboweni in hot water took place just two days before the tweet was posted and could be responsible for his enigmatic words.  

In hot water with the ANC two days before the tweet


As previously reported by TheSouthAfrican.com, the ANC issued a fierce statement on Wednesday 15 January 2020. They decided to chastise Finance Minister Tito Mboweni after he Tweeted that the party’s resolution to “nationalise the SA Reserve Bank” was a mistake.


He made his opinions extremely clear online. Mboweni, who has only just returned from a self-imposed Twitter ban, stirred the pot big time on Tuesday by saying the ANC is wrong to hand ownership of SARB back to the public:


“As a long-standing member of the ANC and its leadership structures, I know and understand our resolutions. I don’t need lectures on that. But on the SARB, I am convinced that we adopted a wrong resolution. As of now, 90% of the SARB profits are handed over to the National Revenue Fund: So what do we want to achieve?”Finance Minister Tito Mboweni


The ANC then returned fire on Mboweni saying that he should act with care and be cautious of how he represents the party. 


“Comrade Tito should act with care and be cautious at all times on matters of policy. Unfortunate public spats created without any provocation feeds into the narrative of ‘uncertainty’. We, therefore, encourage members of the ANC to exercise their freedom of speech within the confines of the ANC’s structures,” the ANC said in a statement. 


“Our NEC has already reaffirmed a resolution to return the sovereignty of SARB back to the people. We will continue to undertake the process towards full public ownership of the bank, in a manner which is prudent, affordable, and doesn’t benefit private shareholder speculators,” it added. 


It was after this ‘internal battle’ that Mboweni posted the tweet which could mean that he is no longer happy in his position or it was just to hit back at the ANC in some way. We’ll be waiting for his next tweet.