Gupta storm forces South Africa's Finance Minister to resign

Hannah Rogers
October 10, 2018

According to Maimane, only one minister, Rob Davis, officially met with the controversial family, but since the revelation that finance minister Nhlanhla Nene had met with them several times while deputy finance minister, despite having previously denied this, Maimane wants to grill other ministers under the belief that they too may have met with the Guptas.

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

Briefing the media, Ramaphosa said he had accepted Nhlanhla Nene's resignation.

She said there had been ongoing engagements between the two and that Nene had briefed him on the details around his testimony.

In a public apology after his testimony, Mr. Nene said he was sorry for failing to disclose the meetings, which took place when he was deputy finance minister and later when he was finance minister. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

Ramaphosa has vowed to crack down on corruption as he tries to revive the economy and boost declining support for the ruling ANC party ahead of elections next year.

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

Kondlo said Mboweni was likely to take a hard line against public sector wage increases, and could provoke friction with the country's influential trade unions.

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The rand was 0.18 percent stronger at 14.84 per dollar at 07:10 GMT, having closed in NY at R14.86.

Nene said he believed he was sacked because he refused to "toe the line" on projects, including a since-abandoned deal for nuclear energy, that may have benefited the Gupta family and other Zuma associates.

Both the Guptas and Mr Zuma deny the allegations.

This on the back of his appearance before the commission of inquiry into state capture last week, where he confirmed visiting the Gupta family on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2014.

Opposition parties have called for his resignation.

The rand gained 0.9% to R14.72/$ by 5.25pm in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4%.

There are fears however that a new finance minister, three weeks before the tabling of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement - the so-called mini-budget - could lead to more political turbulence.

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