Tito Mboweni as finance minister: what it means

Pauline Gross
October 10, 2018

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene resigned Tuesday over undisclosed meetings with a business family at the heart of a corruption scandal, dealing a blow to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"I have chose to accept his resignation", Ramaphosa told a televised press briefing in Cape Town.

Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

Weekend reports indicated that Nene's future as finance minister was on shaky ground following his admission to the meetings, with some claiming Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy could be his replacement.

Mr. Nene had committed "errors of judgment" but was not personally implicated in any wrongdoing, Mr. Ramaphosa said in his announcement on Tuesday.

"I am confident that Mr Mboweni will bring the leadership that is needed now".

Jonas, a former deputy finance minister, was offered the post on Monday, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to comment. The public outcry regarding the issue of state capture has made Nene's untruthfulness that much worse.

The Guptas brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh - have been accused of using their friendship with Zuma, Ramaphosa's predecessor, to siphon off billions of rand in state funds and of inappropriately influencing cabinet appointments.

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Meanwhile, Malema - in a written letter to Ramaphosa on Monday - said SA was undergoing serious economic difficulties, and one of the ingredients in an economic recovery was a credible finance minister.

The ANC forced Zuma to quit as president in February after nearly nine years in office, clearing the way for his 65-year-old deputy and party leader Ramaphosa to take over. Nene is due to read the mid-term budget later this month.

"Government sources said Nene approached Ramaphosa after the highly negative public reaction to his apology to South Africans on Friday for the meetings with the Gupta family when he served under Zuma", the newspaper said.

His major achievement at the central bank was building the nation's foreign-exchange reserves to nearly 40 billion dollars from less than 10 billion dollars.

After leaving the Reserve Bank, Mboweni went into business, acting as an adviser in South Africa for Goldman Sachs Group and served as chairman of AngloGold Ashanti and on the boards of other companies.

This was Nene's second stint as finance minister.

The communist party praised Nene for refusing to hand South Africa over to what it called the highest bidder, by refusing to sign the nuclear contract, which former president Jacob Zuma wanted to enter into with Russian Federation.

Other reports by GizPress

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