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Zuma ‘removes’ Nene as finance minister

Replacement Des van Rooyen is an ANC veteran.
Nhlanhla Nene

President Jacob Zuma’s surprise ‘removal’ of highly respected Nhlanhla Nene as the Minister of Finance has shocked economic analysts and sent the rand plummeting to record lows against the major international currencies.

Zuma issued a statement on Wednesday night in which he announced that ANC veteran Des van Rooyen would take the reins from Nene as the new head of Treasury.

The shock of the message was clearly visible in the sharp drop in the exchange rate. On Thursday morning the rand traded at R15.08 against the dollar, R16.58 against the euro and R22.86 against the pound. The JSE opened lower, but quickly recovered to trade 0.34% higher at 9:45am.

In his statement Zuma said: “I have decided to remove Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, ahead of his deployment to another strategic position. Mr Nene has done well since his appointment as Minister of Finance during a difficult economic climate.”

Zuma did not announce which portfolio Nene would be redeployed to. The South African president also did not give any reasons for Nene’s removal.

This turn of events follows a highly controversial announcement by the National Treasury to reject proposed changes to the deal it had negotiated between national carrier SAA and aircraft manufacturer Airbus last week.

SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni, a close ally of Zuma, proposed the changes to the deal and Nene said in his explanation of the rejection that it would leave the already beleaguered SAA in a worse financial position.

Nene’s removal also follows last week’s credit rating downgrade by ratings agency Fitch.

Reaction

Several South African political commentators and economists reacted in shock to the announcement.

Roelof Botha, economist and faculty member of the Gibs Business School, said: “The one portfolio where a company requires stability, consistency and the highest standards of corporate governance is National Treasury.”

He said Zuma’s decision to remove Nene will impact credit ratings, the exchange rate, investor sentiment and bond yields, which will impact on fiscal stability. “To remove a Minister of Finance without any obvious good reason is a point of grave concern and international investors will certainly frown on this decision.”

Goolam Ballim, chief economist at Standard Bank, said government “will have to give a sound explanation why the decision was taken to remove a pragmatic finance minister at a time when South Africa is probably at its lowest in 20 years in terms of credible policy making.”

He said that both the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are credible national pillars of South Africa’s broad institutional breath. “The unceremonious removal of Nene therefore challenges the general underpinnings of South Africa’s policy-making foundations.”

Des van Rooyen

David Douglas Des van Rooyen, who takes the reins from Nene, is an ANC veteran. According to several websites he was an MK operative and held various leadership positions in Congress of South African Students, the United Democratic Front and the National Union of Mineworkers. Between 1994 and 2007 he held various leadership positions within the ANC.

According to the People’s Assembly website, Van Rooyen holds a Masters Degree in Public Development and Management and a MSc Finance (Economic Policy) from the University of London. 

Zuma said in his statement that Van Rooyen currently serves as a Whip of the Standing Committee on Finance and Whip of the Economic Transformation Cluster.

He is a former Executive Mayor of Merafong Municipality and a former North West provincial chairperson of the South African Local Government Association. 

Twitter erupted with the news.

 

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COMMENTS   35

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What an absolute pathetic move – Zuma is destroying the country and the economy!

So then, the press speculation about Zuma and his tie up with Dudu seem to be correct. Zuma has now pushed RSA Inc. into bankruptcy. The rand has collapsed on this news, and within no time South Africa will be downgraded to ‘junk status’. Say what you want, but Nene was fired. No other explaination!

He has done so well we have removed him? Hello Zimbabwe! We are now strictly 3 world! Goodbye Rand…

The unthinkable happens in that the ANC just stands by and lets this utter moron make fools of the ANC and destroy the country.

This is the year that the ANC has lost absolutely all credibility.

Any person that is in the ANC now that has any shred of integrity or brain power should get out and go to a party that at least has some skills, morals and integrity.

#ZUMAMUSTFALLNOW !!!!!!

Totally agree!

#ZUMAMUSTFALLNOW

The issue here is that the ANC can’t even get rid of him. The people with power to recall Zuma are individually appointed by him, and loyal to him. He learned from Thabo Mbeki and aligned the ANC’s executive committee and parliament with “his” people. “Kevin Spacey- House of Cards” anyone?

Reminds me of Max Du Preez article a year ago when he referred to the Honourable President as a ” One Man Wrecking Ball ” . Very Prophetic words then

It was Dudu Myeni who pulled the chair from under Nene, because he opposed the corrupt so called BEE deal that she was setting up involving a third middleman party in the SAA-Airbus lease deal

As a prospective investor into South Africa this is something that will ensure we keep our money safely outside of the clutches of a #SAPresident who has no respect for the foreign investor market. I would rather go to countries like Botswana, Nigeria and Zambia where life is more predictable. Farewell to our South African friends, you can surely prepare yourselves for a torrid time in the future

Indeed, Zuma and his cronies come first, then the ANC, and then SA.
How are we going to get rid of this monster?

You get rid of him by passing on and continually post
#ZUMAMUSTFALL

And vote any party but the ANC when ever elections occur.

I’m thinking of passing on! No, I know you didn’t mean it that way. 😀
#ZUMAMUSTFALLNOW

This comedy show makes me want to “pass on”. 😀
#ZUMAMUSTFALL #ZUMAMUSTFALLNOW #ZUMAMUSTFALLYESTERDAY

Considering the record of the other cadres, how genuine are his degrees?

He seems to have only the one degree conferred on him by London University. It would not be amiss to establish whether this was earned or honorary or even if it exists. The rest of his qualifications are either diplomas and certificates.

Let the looting begin……………………….

Min Nene, i had the privilege of interacting with you on many occasions, I found you to be a true gent with ethics, this obviously didn’t meet the current criteria of a Minister, you need to be in the Zuma camp, this is paramount, or windbags like Gwede or Blade, perhaps your Chinese or mandarin wasn’t good enough, or you warned of there hijacking of the entire Africa by China.
The one thing you did as the sacrificial lamb, your demise weakened the Rand so much that the mines can stay open 3 months longer, eg yesterday hypothetical (yesterday: gold per once $1072xR14.62, today the $1072xR14.99) Anglo, Glencore and Lonmin and the future “saviour” of both the Gold and Platinum sector, Neil Froneman, further BS

Get ready for Chinese built planes instead of Airbus for SAA!

Flown by potentially can fly pilots.

We can only hope he does not do a Saun but stands up for the reasons he became an ANC member. Imagine if he took the high road what would zuma do then?

Memo to new finance minister: think Greece, think Greece, think Greece…

Well done Zuma!! The poms can now buy one of your Rands for 4p!

The small hope here, is that this action is at such an obviously wrong time and so obviously ill-considered that that sensible people in the ANC might succeed in getting the president removed.

I realise that this opens one to the retort – what sensible people in the ANC?But I happen to know of a few who are likely to be highly embarrassed by this move.

Yes. Let’s hope the “men in white coats” will be summoned to take him to a place of safety. (Use of the word “white” is NOT racist before any twat starts off at me)

It is inexplicable how one man can wield so much power and, single-handedly make it his mission to rape a country, while +50M citizens, including those within the ANC, sit on their hands helplessly, watching him bring the economy to its knees in the process.

Did anyone notice the constant references to killing people he made in that speech after the main speech ?
Basically, Nhlanhla Nene is considered to be a snitch, a sell- out, and the point being made was that, in the olden days, sell-outs were dealt with in the harshest manner, which is by being killed, so Nhlanhla Nene is rather lucky to be just getting the sack as punishment.

The widely considered to be camera and very negative-publicity shy Patrice Motsepe was also there, from what I gather, most of the non-sensical clapping for this farce was being led by him, while Zuma returned the favour by making references to him a few times.
A major dent to his credibility if you ask me, poor judgement on his part, despite his ANC inner-circle credentials being well-known.

This might sound silly, but, whenever Zuma gives a speech, ignore what he’s saying, ignore his facial and body language and just look into his eyes, because those eyes tell the entire story.
Zuma is not the bumbling idiot people think he is, but rather, a cunning, manipulative thuggish gang-leader like figure, who knows exactly what he’s doing, and is hell-bent on ensuring that him and his gang-members benefit personally as much as possible, through whatever means, including running the country into the ground.

#Zuma must fall!

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand

Zuma pension plan in full swing – can’t have the servants obstructing the chief’s important looting activities, servants must know their place!

Big business, are you doing all you can to help?

We need a change in this country and the little folks need big business to make a big noise.

The truth is they are not. Just like Paul Harris backing down a few years ago on an anti-crime campaign, after FNB was threatened with losing govt accounts.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

His Excellency deciding to effectively close down or spin off an entire economy, save for his SAA rump and a dripping roast nuclear deal, shows leadership.
Yes, this inspires confidence.

Slipping ever closer to the RW Johnson scenario. We are going to have a rough ride in 2016 unless something serious is done about Zuma and his gang. And the number of high calibre people I know planning to leave SA now is alarming. And it’s all happening very quietly.

Perhaps this is a time for civil disobedience, as advocated by the ANC during apartheid?

And we ranted for years about mad Bob up north, little did we know we had one 100x worse. Took Bob 30 odd years to wreck his country, this turkey was busy slowly beating Bob’s record and them goes into overdrive late yesterday and finishes the job. Dudu must have given him a very “hard” time yesterday.

Why didn’t Zuma just get the other venerable state institution, the Public Investment Corporation, to buy planes for SAA in the name of development or responsible investment? It would have saved us all the blushes.

End of comments.

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