Maine 'reckless' for calling Gordhan an 'impimpi' - ANC

Durban – The ANC has distanced itself from comments by Youth League president Collen Maine, who over the weekend reportedly called Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan an "impimpi" (spy), adding that "something must be done" to him.

It is commonly known that in the pre-1994 period, those labelled izimpimpi were necklaced for their betrayal to the struggle.

"The statement is reckless and regrettable. To attack a minister appointed by President Jacob Zuma is out of line. Only the president can take decisions on his ministers," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 on Monday.

According to a report by IOL, Maine accused Gordhan of being an "impimpi" for monopoly capital. He told delegates to the provincial elective conference in Durban how "izimpimpi" were dealt with during the struggle for freedom.

'Completely out of order'

Maine reportedly questioned who Gordhan represented and added that before 1994 izimpimpi were dealt with in a certain way.

Kodwa said on Monday that no structure of the ANC, including the Youth League, should use that term for Gordhan.

"It is completely out of order and irresponsible. We think there is everything wrong with that statement politically. The ANC at some point will talk to him and get clarity. We are looking forward to meeting with him and getting clarity on this statement."

Kodwa said it was Zuma who invited key individuals to be ministers. He added that the ANC was deeply concerned by what Maine had said.

"It is worrying to use the word impimpi in the same line as Minister Gordhan. Gordhan is a cadre of the ANC. He knows nothing else but the ANC. It cannot be suggested that he comes from somewhere else."

The ANCYL said it would comment on the matter at a later stage.