Rand drops as South Africa’s finance minister asks Ramaphosa to remove him

Lesetja Kganyago

Lesetja Kganyago

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

"We wish Minister Mboweni well as he journeys through the mammoth task of steering our economy in the right direction".

Last week, Mr Nene told a judge-led inquiry into the alleged influence of the Guptas, known as the Zondo commission, about meetings that he had previously denied.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday that he is accepting the departure of Nhlanhla Nene, who submitted a resignation letter earlier in the day after he admitted to having a series of meetings with the Gupta brothers at their mansion in Johannesburg and other locations from 2010 to 2014.

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The Guptas have been accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma to secure government contracts and determine cabinet appointments.

"These ministers have demonstrated the same disregard of ethical conduct shown by Nene and like Nene they too have undermined parliament's accountability mechanisms", the EFF said in a statement.

Both Zuma and the Guptas - who are at the heart of the inquiry into so-called "state capture" - have denied any wrongdoing.

"It's a measure of his character and commitment to the country that he has chose to resign in spite not being implicated in any wrongdoing", the president said.

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Ramaphosa stressed that Nene "has not been implicated in any act of wrongdoing himself" and hailed him as a minister who had "defended the cause of proper financial management as well as clean governance". He served as labour minister in the cabinet of former president Nelson Mandela in the mid-1990s and was widely praised for his work as the governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2009.

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The alleged breach relates to allegations surrounding a Public Investment Corporation investment in S&S Refinarias‚ reportedly including a $1.7-million "referral fee"‚ which may have benefited the minister's son‚ Siyabonga Nene. The court further ordered her to pay 20% of the legal costs for the Black Sash and Freedom under law - the two non-governmental organisations that took her to court after Sassa said a year ago that it would be unble to pay social grants from April 2017.

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