Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

"During his tenure as minister of finance‚ Mr Nene served the people and government of SA with diligence and ability".

"The initial selling reaction on the rand on reports that its finance minister has asked to be sacked will encourage investor caution that South Africa could be in store for another round of political risk", said Jameel Ahmad, head of currency strategy at FXTM.

Nene, who publicly apologized for not previously reporting the visits to the Gupta brothers, has not made any statements confirming or denying the report by Business Day newspaper.

Ramaphosa said Nene tendered his resignation on Tuesday morning and he had accepted it in the interests of good governance.

"I was wrong in meeting the Guptas at their residence", he said.

The Guptas, who built a vast business empire in the mining and media industries in South Africa after forging a partnership with the son of former president Jacob Zuma, are now under criminal investigation on corruption allegations. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

It has taken approximately less than seven days for now former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to move from being one of the most trusted and loved public servants to him now being referred to as compromised, with some questioning his integrity.

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The crisis over the finance minister had thrown a spotlight on Ramaphosa's promise to crack down on corruption and boost economic growth.

"Ramaphosa is cleaning things up and laying a platform so that he is able to campaign confidently when it is election time", Kwandiwe Kondlo, politics professor at the University of Johannesburg, told AFP.

"It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the commission's mandate to provide that information to the commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully".

But the DA also described Mboweni's public comments while out of government office as "looney".

He said no person should be above scrutiny and all relevant and credible accusations of wrongdoing should be thoroughly investigated.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party welcomed Mboweni's appointment, saying he was a safe pair of hands. Nene is due to read the mid-term budget later this month.

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