South Africa's finance minister Nhlanhla Nene resigns

10 October, 2018, 09:45 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Barbara Creecy

Ramaphosa said Nene wrote to him on Tuesday requesting to step down‚ and he had made a decision to accede to the request.

The former minister issued an apology to South Africans on Friday, 5 October 2018, over meeting the Guptas and said it had been a mistake.

On Monday‚ Business Day reported that Nene had asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following public pressure over his testimony at the state capture inquiry‚ at which he admitted to meeting the Gupta family on numerous occasions and at their private Saxonwold home.

During his tenure as Minister of Finance, Mr Nene served the people and government of South Africa with diligence and ability.

Mcebisi Jonas declined an offer to replace Nhlanhla Nene as South Africa's finance minister, spurring President Cyril Ramaphosa to consider central bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and one of his predecessors, Tito Mboweni, for the job, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The inquiry, which opened in August, is investigating allegations that Zuma organised the plunder of government departments and public enterprises in a scandal known as "state capture".


Mr. Nene had committed "errors of judgment" but was not personally implicated in any wrongdoing, Mr. Ramaphosa said in his announcement on Tuesday.

He revealed, during proceedings, that then President Jacob Zuma fired him in 2015 because he refused to sign the nuclear deal and for "toeing the Gupta line".

Mboweni, who trained as an economist, served as head of the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009 and for four years as labour minister in the former President Nelson Mandela's cabinet.

Nene is not the only minister in Ramaphosa's cabinet over whom a cloud hangs.

The ANC forced Zuma to quit as president in February, clearing the way for his 65-year-old deputy and party leader Ramaphosa to take over. Nene said during his testimony to the inquiry he was sacked in December 2015 for refusing to agree to Zuma's plans to spend billions of dollars on new nuclear plants.

"We are concerned that during the years that he was out in the political cold, he often came over on social media, at least, as a little looney posting content that seemed to be at odds with government policy", Maynier said, with an attached picture of Mboweni advocating for 40% ownership of mining companies by the state.

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