The first black governor of the Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, took to social media this week to share a photo of himself with EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
In it, he said he was amazed that he was the taller one, since Mboweni is famously short and normally the shortest person in any photo.
Dr's nickname "Shorty"
— Tša Leboa (North) (@Alfre_dho) September 11, 2018
Mboweni explained in another tweet that he had bumped into Ndlozi at a restaurant in Parktown on Monday.
See who I bumped into at Mike’s Kitchen, Parktown. The Dr himself! 10 September 2018. pic.twitter.com/g4jtnJkV2l
— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) September 10, 2018
The EFF and Mboweni have been surprisingly friendly with each other recently, with Mboweni trending in April for writing a series of tweets calling for the greater socialisation of capital.
Mboweni typed up a short prayer asking for leaders to open their eyes and ears and “do four things”.
“The State must own 40% of mining companies, start a State Bank, implement appropriate Land Use Planning and Create a Sovereign Wealth Fund. That is Radical Economic Transformation!!”
The EFF also wants to create a state bank, and nationalise all mining as well as all land.
Mboweni explained that, to his mind, appropriate land use planning would involve demarcating land clearly for “housing, agriculture, grazing, forestry, tourism, leisure, schooling, hospitals, etc. Now, before people do their own will.” He added that the most urgent task in this respect would be to “allocate land immediately for residential purposes. Urgent. Really URGENT!!”
This policy echoed the EFF call for all state land to be state-owned or controlled.
Many of the responses he received to his tweets accused him of thinking like the EFF or even being part of them. Others praised him for the exact same thing.
Since leaving the Reserve Bank, Mboweni, a Tzaneen native, has been living a relatively quiet life as a farmer in Limpopo. He was a Brics Bank board member until last year, when his contract was not renewed. He also ruled himself out as a contender for a cabinet minister position under the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Were you plotting anything?
— Unemployed 3️⃣0️⃣% ER (@UnmovedLee) September 11, 2018
Please tell us you used the opportunity to give him a quick lesson in Economics 101
— Finnie (@Finnie9) September 12, 2018
Many joked that the meeting should be exposed by the Sunday Times as evidence of plotting.
This might be categorized as a secret meeting ????????♂️????????♂️????????????
— Ansley Jacobs (@AnsleyJakes) September 10, 2018
Tomorrow the Sunday Times will write that you were planning a coup
— Patrone (@ephraimndlovu1) September 10, 2018