SA's Nhlanhla Nene resigns; Tito Mboweni new finance minister

Barbara Creecy

South Africans took to Twitter saying they wish President Cyril Ramaphosa had said "sha sha" when he introduced Mboweni.

In his speech accepting the resignation, Mr Ramaphosa said that Mr Nene had "defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance".

He then added that that Nene can no longer inspire much needed confidence to revive the economy.

This followed Nene's testimony before the State Capture inquiry last week, in which Nene revealed he had met with the Guptas several times between 2009 and 2014.

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

His biggest achievement at the time was building the nation's foreign-exchange reserves to nearly $40 billion from less than $10 billion.

"I think, on one hand, the departure of Minister Nene is sad in the wake of an important role that he played, particularly in terms of saving South Africa from the disastrous nuclear deal".

The visits occurred when he was deputy finance minister and also finance minister before Zuma fired him from that post in December 2015, Nene testified.

"As minister of finance, Nene has served the people and the government of the republic of South Africa with diligence and great ability", said Ramaphosa.

Mboweni became the sixth finance minister in the last five years after Nhlanhla Nene resigned from the position on Tuesday morning amid a controversy over his apology for multiple meetings with the Gupta family at their private home in Saxonwold.

"For the country to move forward‚ we need to establish the full extent of state capture‚ identify those responsible for facilitating it and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again", he said.

Nene's departure from the finance portfolio comes as Treasury officials prepare to attend the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) annual meeting in Bali and credit ratings agency Moody's is expected to do its next review of the country on Friday.

I am human too, and I make mistakes.

The rand was trading 0.67% stronger at R14.75 ahead of Ramaphosa's announcement.

Earlier, at 12.30pm it had weakened, and breached the R15 a dollar mark and traded at R15.004 for a dollar.

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