South Africa's finance minister asks Ramaphosa to 'sack him'

Lloyd Doyle
October 8, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa should accede to embattled finance minister Nhlanhla Nene's request that he be allowed to step down.

This has left the nation wondering who will be appointed to the role of South Africa's new finance minister, with MEC for finance in Gauteng Barbara Creecy and deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele tipped as possible replacements.

However, in the end, the minister's conduct, taken together with the fact that he is likely to be the subject of at least two ongoing investigations, which will drag on for months, now risks compromising public confidence in National Treasury.

Nene has been under enormous pressure to resign.

Nene admitted to meeting the controversial Gupta family at their Saxonwold residence at the state capture commission of inquiry last week. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

"Clearly what the markets would be watching is if there is any change in the finance ministry and if there is, what would be absolutely vital is who replaces Minister Nene". "Did anything happen in those meetings ... that may have favoured the Gupta family?"

Nene said he believed he was sacked because he refused to "toe the line" on projects, including a since-abandoned deal for nuclear energy, that may have benefited the Gupta family and other Zuma associates.

In a detailed response to questions from the Sunday Times, Nene said he did not think that the meetings he had had with the Guptas were relevant for the objective his my appointment but "looking back I should have informed the president then, or subsequently". 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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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