South African finance minister criticized after testimony

Howard TerryOct 10, 2018

The Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as finance minister. Watch the full announcement here.

The finance minister apologised on Friday for his visits to the Gupta family, who are placed at the centre of the state capture allegations.

Ramaphosa declined to answer reporters' questions about Nene at the release of a new postal stamp at his Cape Town office on Tuesday.

Nene is a key ally of Ramaphosa, who reappointed him finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle shortly after he became president earlier this year.

South Africa, Africa's most advanced economy, slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year, and suffers a stubbornly high unemployment of about 28 percent.

Mboweni was born on March 16, 1959, and he was the eighth governor of the South African Reserve Bank and the first black South African to hold the post. Nene did not answer calls for comment.

"It is a measure of his character and his commitment to the national interest that he has taken this decision to resign in the wake of errors of judgment‚ even though he has not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing".

South Africa's finance minister has resigned after acknowledging missteps during the scandal-tainted tenure of former president Jacob Zuma while testifying in a corruption inquiry.

In February, Mboweni tweeted that he was "not available for Minister of Finance".

Nene's Gupta meetings have damaged the reputation of a man once thought to be "clean" compared to those ANC politicians who have been implemented in state capture. The court further ordered her to pay 20% of the legal costs for the Black Sash and Freedom under law - the two non-governmental organisations that took her to court after Sassa said past year that it would be unble to pay social grants from April 2017. Ramaphosa's spokeswoman Khusela Diko did not respond to phone calls. "This averts a potential crisis in the political leadership of the national treasury".

The party, which has been vocal in its demand for Nene's sacking over the past few days, now wants Ramaphosa to fire Minister in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

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