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Nene asks to leave amid pressure to go

The request came after political parties rejected his apology for previously undisclosed meetings with members of the Gupta family.
Nene, who was fired as finance minister by President Zuma in December 2015, was reappointed to the position by President Ramaphosa in February. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Nhlanhla Nene asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as the finance minister is under pressure to resign after he last week disclosed that he met members of the Gupta family at their Johannesburg residence six times, Business Day reported.

The Guptas are friends of former President Jacob Zuma who have done business with his son Duduzane and have been implicated in a corruption scandal including using their influence to have ministers appointed by Zuma. They all have denied wrongdoing.

Nene made the request to the president this weekend, the Johannesburg-based newspaper reported Monday, without saying how it got the information. Factions within the ruling African National Congress have been discussing potential replacements that they could suggest to Ramaphosa, three senior party officials said, asking not to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas is considered a front-runner, along with South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and one of his deputies, Daniel Mminele, the people said. Barbara Creecy, head of the finance portfolio in the Gauteng province, has been also been touted as a candidate, they said.

Sought forgiveness

Nene, who was fired as finance minister by Zuma in December 2015, was reappointed to the position by Ramaphosa in February and has been tasked with turning around an economy that fell into recession in the second quarter. He told the Commission of Inquiry Into State Capture last week about the meetings with the Guptas after previously having said he had only met the three brothers on social occasions, prompting opposition parties to call for him to step down. He also told the commission that he was fired by Zuma because he refused to sign a multi-billion nuclear power pact with Russia that would have crippled South Africa’s finances.

“These visits do cast a shadow on my conduct as a public office bearer,” Nene said in a statement on Friday of the visits to the Guptas residence in earlier stints as deputy finance minister and finance minister. “I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness,” he said in the statement that was addressed to South Africans.

He earlier told the commission that he should have instead met the Guptas at his office in the presence of government finance officials.

The ANC’s top six most senior officials, including Ramaphosa, were in meetings all weekend, discussing governance and party plans and have not taken a decision on the matter, according to one of the people. The Sunday Times reported that Ramaphosa was unaware of Nene’s previous meetings with the Guptas.

Jabulani Sikhakhane, Nene’s spokesman, referred queries to the president’s office, he said by phone. Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, declined to comment when contacted by phone.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P



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Remaining silent when you should not have done so and only revealing information when forced to do so when under oath or when pressured to do so is the same as telling lies and the same as distorting or withholding the truth. Which ever way it happened, it is unacceptable from someone in a trust position such as that of a government minister. Therefore, the public have effectively fired you and you will never be trusted again. You may as well resign or be dismissed by the President.

more important….pay back your kickbacks. I don’t care about your apologies.

I can’t help but sympathise with Nene – he appears a decent enough bloke and also seems genuinely remorseful over his misdemeanour. If he can be dismissed over this issue the whole damned cabinet should go too – a more venal bunch of lying, deceitful smallanyama incompetents never walked the planet.

incompetence…..the golden thread that runs trough the ANC.

agree with Pistov. I think we are throwing out the baby with the bath water here. Firstly, if contact with the Guptas is a disqualification for cabinet, then I don’t think anyone in cabinet will be left. Secondly, be careful what you wish for. Better the devil you know ….. Nene has always talked sense and been the voice of reason as far as I can tell. Lastly, I don’t see any shining lights knocking at the door to replace the man, if you get my drift.

If lying is the key criteria, which I cannot disagree with, then at a conservative guess, I’d say that at least 80% of top government officials and parliamentarians need to tender their resignation. Problem is that whoever takes over is not guaranteed to be any different. Politicians (world-wide) need to be relinquished to the annals of history like the royalty and nobility that ran countries previously. The modern era needs to be run by use of modern techniques, where the ordinary citizen can really be more effectively involved. The day to day running can be done by professionals who are accountable to the taxpayers (shareholders) and will be voted out at an AGM if not adhering to the mandate. An independent and effective Public Protector office, which ensures the country’s Constitution is adhered to, is what the public needs to vote for. Political parties can run sports clubs.

This Nene guy is not telling the whole truth! Guptas don’t meet you more than three times if you’re not offering anything valuable to them. Nene only stood his ground when the Guptas wanted nuclear.

I have this sick feeling that he did sign off some billions to the Guptas before the nuclear issue was brought to the table. He didn’t refuse to sign off nuclear because he is a good guy, he refused due to the attention the nuclear deal was receiving both locally and internationally. He feared that the public protector will do a thorough job investigating him and possibly unearth other dodgy deals in the process.

I humble ask that this Saint called Nene be thoroughly investigated. Zoom into all deals he endorsed as Chair of the PIC, Mof and look at deals that involved members of his family.

He is ANC and owes his ascendancy to the high office to the ANC.

And our new minister of finance is….Dodo Myeni ! Congrats !

Nooo please. Bring back van Rooyen and Jessie’s son-in-law

How about Jacob – I believe he is quite a money man.

What about Hlaudi Motsoeneng, he is free at the moment.

We have ranks of highly qualified money men, Molefe, Zuma senior and two juniors, Malema, Moyani, Dodo, a few of those Eskom sleaze balls, cloudy day want any more……

Our President is dragging his feet in this debacle. It is my suspicion that he too was involved with the Guptas in one way or another hence his reluctance too appoint new ministers who had no contact with the Guptas or state capture, as keeping the old school intact would in his mind prevent an expose’ of the real facts.

of course CR knows more than he admits ( Like Wiese and Jooste )

So if the politicians that are clearly corrupt that say they’ve done nothing wrong and refuse to resign, shouldn’t we keep the ones who want to resign?

Is he still on the Allan Gray board? How do they explain having an alleged crook sitting on their board? Smh…makes me wonder….is Pravin even clean? does the ANC have any good guys left?

Give him a more important job! Termination of those who were captured and did not own up or apologize. Maybe put him in charge of NPA, they seem to be still sleeping.

I hope he also resigns from the board of Alan Gray

He’s a politician after all, they all the same

Please appoint Brian Van Rooyen again I am long ZAR

The truth, by itself, is draining the swamp.

That being said, one can see that some of you are in-denial of the kind man we dealing with here. Politicians are the same.

and Ace and Gigaba are save…everyone looses but not the Gupta gang.

I am not here to debate.

Thanks to the EFF for making sure that this man falls…

The warning from the EFF that they were “watching” Nene when he testifies is more telling than most think. They knew beforehand that he had visited the Guptas and they were waiting for him to testify. Nene was between a rock and a hard place. The EFF has info on Ramaphosa allies to my mind. And they are probably getting it from JZ. Think about it: JZ has the goods on all the cabinet ministers. He was not going to go silently into the night. If Nene goes CR loses an important ally and the EFF blackmail wins. Heads they win, tails CR loses. JZ is pulling the strings and using the EFF.

I am shocked. Really thought he was a good standup guy. I see very few of our government managers who are honest. And that example goes all the way down the line to the least of the public servants.
Wow, South Africa is in a terrible state. The future looks bleak. It would seem It would seem the managers of our government just dont have the capacity or the desire to be truthful and honest. What are we going to do?

Come on guys, he’s only very slightly corrupt, on a relative scale. I’d be more than happy if they all took R20m or so – as the “good” guys no doubt have done. Let’s face it, CR’s billions were only accrued through legalised theft anyway.

Or maybe he could do what the poms do – resign for a while and be re-introduced later a la Mandelson.

What do you guys expect? The Pope. Sorry, bad example.

Do you really think Jonas was offered a R 600 000 000 – (six hundred million rand ) bribe. – Like really why didn’t this guy take it.

I don’t trust Jonas with this revelation. That’s why Ajay Gupta was ready and willing to cross question Jonas’s testimony. The rest of the time the Gupta’s remain very silent. Make’s me wonder if Jonas is as clean and honest as he make himself out to be.

Jonas attended “meetings at Gupta’s Saxonwold. What on earth was he doing at their private home in the first place?

Nene needs to provide a detailed account of all his visits and dealings with the Gupta’s – he can’t just resign and walk away from this and expect that this is the end of it.

I wonder if Afri forum has the balls to take him on coz the EFF stated that if he resigns they won’t pursue him further.

Remember for state capture to succeed a large collective of collaborators is needed.

Remarkable to see the different comments here ranging from “silence and inaction is the same as deliberately lying” to “Nene is a decent bloke, I feel bad for him”.

Rule #1 – All ANC politicians are garbage. Correction, ALL politicians.
Rule #2 – On any standard of truth (from passively keeping quiet to deliberately lying), ANC ministers and MP’s can’t overcome even a marginal test of honesty, including dear Cyril.
Rule #3 – The standards that we expect of South African politicians is so low, that essentially, if you aren’t aren’t dishonest, you are probably one of a handful of individuals, if that.

End of comments.





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