SA's Nhlanhla Nene resigns; Tito Mboweni new finance minister

10 October, 2018, 09:42 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Should Nene go? Here's what SA's political heavyweights have to say Views from UDM leader Bantu

The Gupta family, who are Indian expatriates, are accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa has thanked Nene for his time in the ministry.

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".

"It's a measure of his character and commitment to the country that he has chose to resign in spite not being implicated in any wrongdoing", the president said.

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

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says they will give Mboweni a fair chance.

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Nene became a divisive figure in the scandal after acknowledging in a hearing that he had visited the Gupta brothers at their homes in Johannesburg, a confession his opponents said tarnished his credentials. He made a public apology about the matter on Friday. Ramaphosa promised to curb corruption that has contributed to South Africa's economic problems, though critics question whether he has the will and clout to scrutinize top levels of the ruling African National Congress party ahead of elections next year.

He must also reassure investors and credit-rating companies of credible plans to stabilise the debt and revive growth in the mid-term budget on October 24. He served as labour minister in the cabinet of former president Nelson Mandela in the mid-1990s and was widely praised for his work as the governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2009. His biggest achievement at the time was building the nation's foreign-exchange reserves to nearly $40bn from less than $10bn.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has told the Zondo commission that in 2015 he had been offered 600m rand ($NZ63m) if he accepted the post of finance minister at a meeting at the Johannesburg mansion.

He will South Africa's fifth finance minister since 2014.

Nene was initially hailed as a hero when he told the inquiry that Zuma had fired him in 2015 for "refusing to toe the line" on projects that would have benefited the wealthy Gupta family and others close to the then-president.

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