South African finance minister criticized after testimony

10 October, 2018, 09:41 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Barbara Creecy

The office of the Public Protector said on Tuesday it would look into a complaint by the main opposition Democratic Alliance party about the investment, carried out when Nene was chairman of the fund and deputy finance minister.

He previously served as minister of finance from May 25, 2014, until his controversial removal by former President Jacob Zuma on December 9, 2015.

Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance.

News24 has independently obtained confirmation that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties.

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The three Gupta brothers, who are friends of Zuma and in business with his son, were implicated by the former anti-graft ombudsman in influencing government appointments and the award of state contracts - allegations they and Zuma deny.

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

New Finance Minister Tito Mboweni clearly loves Twitter - and he's remarkably good at it for a "pensioner".

Asked repeatedly at a media event in Cape Town whether Nene still enjoyed his confidence and what the future might hold for the finance minister, President Ramaphosa made light of the questions and pretended there was something wrong with his hearing.

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It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency.

Rumours of his intended resignation on Monday led to a fall in the value of South Africa's currency, the rand, but it has since recovered its value.

Mboweni, who went into exile during apartheid, trained as an economist and served for four years as labor minister in former President Nelson Mandela's cabinet after apartheid ended in 1994.

The request came after some political parties rejected his apology for the previously undisclosed meetings with the family when he served as deputy minister and minister of finance, respectively.

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But he had accepted the resignation because Mr Nene feared his testimony "detracted from the important task of serving the people of South Africa as we work to re-establish public trust in government", Mr Ramaphosa said.

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