Nene axing lasted just more than five minutes - report

Cape Town - Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene on Tuesday has said the meeting with President Jacob Zuma in which he was fired lasted just more than five minutes, a report has said.

In an interview with eNCA, Nene told the broadcaster that he found out about his dismissal on the same day it was announced in December last year, and had lasted "just more than five minutes".

He said he had no reason though to speculate on the reasons for his firing other than what the president said.

He also dismissed suggestions he was fired for rejecting a SAA request to renew a lease agreement with aircraft maker Airbus.

Not waiting for Brics bank job

Nene also said he is on the verge of accepting a job in the private sector, despite the much-talked about Brics bank job mooted by President Jacob Zuma still to materialise.

On Monday, Nene said he had still not heard anything regarding the Brics bank post as of this week, Fin24 reported.

Asked whether he would take the post if formally offered to him, Nene said: “That will depend on the profile of the job.”

But according to eNCA, he is due to start a new job in the private sector, but was mum on the details of his new post, as it had not been finalised.

His decision seems to rule out the possibility of waiting for the suggested post as Africa Regional Head at the Brics bank, which was President Zuma’s official reason for removing him from his post.

Nene also admitted he was surprised by the market fallout following his axing.

Keeping up with the Guptas

Nene, whose sacking wiped about R500bn from the country’s equity markets, told Media24 journalist Janet Heard that he is keeping up to date with the Gupta controversy, Fin24's report continued.

He read news reports on Sunday that the Gupta family had left South Africa aboard a private jet.

But for now, Nene said that he is preoccupied with other matters at his home in KwaZulu-Natal and did not want to weigh in on the political battles that have rocked South Africa.

“Until I make my next move, I am enjoying intimate time with my family, and also doing my gardening,” he said when contacted telephonically.

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