Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has resigned. His resignation comes after talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa this week in the wake of his admission at the state capture commission of inquiry that he met with the Guptas several times between 2009 and 2014.
He will be replaced by former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni with immediate effect.On Monday, Business Day and News24 reported that Nene asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following the admission.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, told News24 that the president was worried about the impact that uncertainties over Nene would have on financial markets. He was also concerned about the consequences of the uncertainties for South Africa’s economic recovery.
READ MORE: Nhlanhla Nene removed as Finance Minister
On Friday, Nene apologised to the nation for meeting the family.
In a statement, he said: “I was wrong in meeting the Guptas at their residence and not in my office or at least a public place. I say this being mindful of the fact that it is quite common practice, not only in South Africa but globally, for public office bearers to attend gatherings, including dinners, at residences of business people, fellow politicians, and other stakeholders. But context matters. As soon as I became aware of the controversy swirling around the family’s business dealings, I should, subject to there being a legitimate reason for doing so, have met Guptas, at my office accompanied, as is customary, by a Ministry of Finance or National Treasury official.”
Nene had been under pressure from several quarters to resign.
The EFF wrote to Ramaphosa and asked him to accept Nene’s resignation offer, saying that the minister was not a person of integrity.
Nene was due to present the mini-budget on October 24. This raised further questions about whether his axing would alarm investors.