Nene resignation sets standard for Cabinet ministers, says Wits economist

10 October, 2018, 12:59 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Lesetja Kganyago

Nene is not the only minister in Ramaphosa's cabinet over whom a cloud hangs. He will South Africa's fifth finance minister since 2014.

The president said after giving the matter "due consideration" he had reached the conclusion that in the interest of good governance he was compelled to accept Nene's resignation. Nene chose to resign from the post on Tuesday morning following a public outcry sparked by his public apology last week over his multiple meetings with the Gupta family at their private home.

"He has indicated that there is risk that the developments around his testimony will detract from the important task of serving the people of SA, particularly as we work to reestablish public trust in government", he said.

The Guptas are a trio of Indian-born brothers accused of fraudulently profiting from vast government contracts and energy and transport deals under Zuma, who ruled from 2009 to 2018.

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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. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

Nene led by example and set a new standard for Cabinet ministers, Rossouw said.

Last week, Nene told an inquiry panel about the meetings he had held with the business family, a fact that he had earlier denied. Five months after refusing to sign a letter of guarantee that would have given the project to Russia's state-controlled nuclear energy company, Mr. Nene was sacked from Mr. Zuma's cabinet and was briefly replaced by a pro-Gupta minister. He remained active in politics, and was elected to the ruling African National Congress's decision-making national executive committee at a party congress in December. The nuclear project was eventually shelved.

The rand firmed, moments before Mboweni, was announced Finance Minister at a ceremony in Cape Town. The rand trimmed some of its losses to trade 0,58 percent weaker at 14,8800 per dollar at 1557 GMT, having hit a session low of 14,9875 in early trade after the Business Day newspaper citing government sources as saying Nene had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to be released from his position.

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