Nicely done on Nhlanhla Nene

2014-06-01 15:00

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Bhungani ka Mzolo


One may be splitting hairs here, but to say Nhlanhla Nene is the first African to be appointed as finance minister in South Africa since the dawn of democracy, cannot, strictly speaking, be correct.

There is no reason to believe his predecessors were not Africans, unless one means they were not born on this continent, an argument which would itself be difficult to sustain.

Apartheid is to blame for this state of affairs, although I expect apologists of that evil system would most probably disagree.

According to apartheid’s twisted classification, we had Trevor Manuel as a coloured and then Pravin Gordhan as an Indian finance minister. But not a single person in this country ever thought or believed Manuel and Gordhan were given that post as a coloured or an Indian.

I doubt very much that President Jacob Zuma has appointed Nene simply because he is an “African”.

The only thing we can say for certain is that Manuel’s predecessor was not black, both politically speaking or in the general meaning of the term.

Perhaps in the matter of the new finance minister, we should just thank President Zuma for his choice of an obviously talented, experienced and suitably qualified South African for the task.

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