OVERVIEW: Ramaphosa's thorny dilemma over Nene's 'skeletons'

2018-10-08 16:10

Have a look at all the news, views and analyses as pressure mounts for Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to step down following revelations that he met with the controversial Gupta family.


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Last Updated at 02:42
08 Oct 17:26

Revelations that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene lied about his meetings with the Guptas presents President Cyril Ramaphosa with a thorny dilemma.

If Ramaphosa fires Nene or he quits, the president would lose a close political ally, and a new finance minister - the nation’s fifth in less than three years - would have just weeks to deliver a mid-term budget that reassures investors and ratings companies.

While a shakeup risks further eroding confidence, failure by Ramaphosa to act decisively may undermine his fight to end the graft and mismanagement that marred his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s rule.

08 Oct 16:10

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), through its leader Julius Malema, has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to accept the offer of Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to resign.

"We reiterate our position that his continued stay as minister of finance is not in the best interest of South Africa. Treasury cannot be presided over by a person without integrity," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement on Monday.

The call by the EFF comes after Nene apologised on Friday for failing to disclose that he had met with the controversial Gupta family on multiple occasions at the Saxonworld residence and Midrand offices between 2010 and 2014.

08 Oct 16:08

If the finance minister were to be replaced, it would not compromise the medium-term budget policy statement (mini budget) set to be delivered on October 24, economists have said.

Reports have emerged that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene offered his resignation to President Cyril Ramaphosa, little more than two weeks before the announcement of the mini budget.

08 Oct 14:31

UDM demands PIC investigation

The deeper we dig, the greater the corruption exposed. The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has been saying all along that there is something seriously wrong at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and that it is endangering the pensions of government employees.  

Our sources indicate as much, and the scratch-work done by the media; in particular the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, reads like a corruption horror story. As the drama unfolds, a pattern emerges where some of the family members some Deputy Ministers of Finance, de facto chairs the PIC board, have had their fingers in the PIC cookie jar. It would therefore make sense to think that Minister Nene has been covering for PIC CEO Dan Matjila, the board and himself.  

Only yesterday did he confirm that he had tea and coffee, almost six times, with the Gupta family. This proximity of Minister Nene and his son to the Guptas is no different from the connection of former president Jacob Zuma and ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule. Even the Gwede Mantashe toilet scandal in Amathole comes to mind.  

There is a clear conflict of interest here and, under normal circumstances Minister Nene would be handing over his resignation this morning. Nene and Matjila should be removed from their positions and the current board be dissolved, to make way for an interim board until this matter has been investigated.  

Very early on, the UDM approached President Ramaphosa regarding various dodgy PIC deals and he promised to act. Yet, the Ramaphosa has been stalling in appointing the PIC commission of inquiry and publishing its terms of reference. He made this announcement and the months’ delays are casting aspersions on his integrity.  

There is enough prima facie evidence that should convince the president to get the PIC inquiry up and running with immediate effect with the participation of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Financial Intelligence Services, as well as Interpol. Also, each of the past PIC Chairmen of the Board should be investigated.

08 Oct 14:23

COPE statement on Nene:

COPE is extremely disappointed with Minister Nene, his sudden apology few days ago for meeting the controversial Guptas at their private residence Saxonwold has put a dark cloud hanging over his head.  

We don't know what happened in those secret meetings, we suspect many other ministers and former ministers will also come out and apologise for meeting with this controversial Gupta family in those dark meetings.

As COPE we are saying we cannot blindly accept Nene's apology if there is no full disclosure of what was discussed and agreed upon in these meetings.

We are very clear, we can't give him a blank cheque, because tomorrow Jacob Zuma can also come forward and apologise for having a corrupt relationship with the Guptas.

08 Oct 13:57

SA needs a finance minister with a proven track record if Nene goes, say economists

South Africa needs a finance minister with a proven track record to replace Nhlanhla Nene if President Cyril Ramaphosa accepts his offer of resignation.

08 Oct 13:56

EFF statement on Nene

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to accept Nhlanhla Nene's offer to resign from his position as the Minister of Finance. The EFF, through the CIC Julius Malema, has written a formal letter to Ramaphosa calling on him to accept the offer made by Nhlanhla Nene to resign.  

We reiterate our position that his continued stay as Minister of Finance is not in the best interest of South Africa. Treasury cannot be presided over by a person without integrity.

Nene has lied on numerous occasions about his role in cabinet and government. He has also facilitated the capture of the state by the criminal Gupta syndicate. He was party to the most unpatriotic state capture by a family of foreign nationals.  

In these difficult economic times, the last thing the country needs is a finance minister with a questionable character and unethical conduct. Ramaphosa must release Nene from his duties with immediate effect.

08 Oct 13:53

08 Oct 13:53

08 Oct 12:11
The rand is flirting with R15/$ as the market absorbs the future of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene

08 Oct 11:30

DA statement from David Maynier:

The Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, has reportedly offered his resignation to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

To be fair, the minister courageously stood up to former President Jacob Zuma by opposing the nuclear build programme, which eventually cost him his job when he was fired in a meeting that lasted just "two or three minutes" on 09 December 2015.

However, the minister:

exercised poor judgement meeting inter alia Ajay Gupta at Saxonwold, after becoming suspicious of the family's intentions, most probably as a result of an investigation being conducted by National Treasury;

may have breached the executive code of ethics as a result of a Public Investment Corporation investment that may have benefited his son, Siyabonga Nene; and

failed to disclose any of this information, prior to his appointment as finance minister, to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

To his credit, the minister issued an apology expressing regret for his mistakes, which he conceded included poor judgement, and which he accepts casts a shadow over his conduct.

However, in the end, the minister's conduct, taken together with the fact that he is likely to be the subject of at least two ongoing investigations, which will drag on for months, now risks compromising public confidence in National Treasury.

The minister himself pointed out in his evidence before the Zondo Commission that:

"…the optimal relationship is for the Minister of Finance to have the full support of the President at all times."

We find it hard to believe that, under the circumstances, the minister has the "full support" of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who stated, in his State of the Nation Address on 16 February 2018, that: "…this is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions".

We believe, therefore, that President Cyril Ramaphosa should accept the minister's offer to resign and act swiftly to replace him before the medium-term budget policy statement is presented in Parliament.

08 Oct 11:25
President Ramaphosa should accept Nhlanhla Nene's resignation in the interests of credibility, a professor tells Power FM 98.7

08 Oct 11:22

Nene at Zondo commission: Questions about the Guptas, answers about the nuclear deal

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will on Wednesday admit to meeting members of the infamous Gupta family on up to six occasions while he was minister and deputy minister of finance between 2009 and 2015 – and he will argue it is all about situation and circumstance.

08 Oct 11:06

08 Oct 11:06

08 Oct 11:05
The DA's David Manier tells 702 that there can't be uncertainty around the future of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene

08 Oct 10:47

Nene is due to deliver the mini-Budget in Parliament on October 24.

Nene has been under intense pressure since his revelations at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture last week.

He admitted to meeting the controversial Gupta family six times at their home between 2009 and 2014.

08 Oct 10:42

South Africa could get a new finance minister within hours - the top contenders include a yoga-loving MEC

News24 on Monday morning reported that finance minister Nhlanhla Nene had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa "to relieve him of his duties" over the weekend.  It's understood the minister offered to resign during a phone call to Ramaphosa.

08 Oct 10:38

Nhlanhla Nene may be going again - 8 things you probably didn't know about SA's finance minister

Until last week, South Africa's reinstated minister of finance had a reputation as a no-nonsense man of principle.

During his previous stint in the job, Nhlanhla Nene refused to be bullied into accepting a massive nuclear deal and he also blocked a senseless SAA lease contract which SAA board chair Dudu Myeni favoured.

08 Oct 10:36

Nene undermines Ramaphosa's integrity ticket

Nhlanhla Nene's position as finance minister has suddenly become untenable, both for the country and President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign to clean up corruption in government.

08 Oct 10:33

Alan Hirsch, director of UCT's Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance on Nene:

"I don't think he is a dishonest man and I think he is being pilloried for the rare act of apologising; yet the fact that he appeared to deny that he had met the Guptas at one point makes it more complicated.

"My take is that it suits the EFF and the anti-Ramaphosites in the ANC to target Nene as a distraction and a way of weakening Ramaphosa."

08 Oct 10:30

Turbulence at Treasury: A short history

National Treasury and the ministry of finance have been a beacon of good governance and stability since 1994 – the last couple of years however have seen the institution suffer under a barrage of criticism and a political assault that resulted in four finance ministers in four years.

08 Oct 10:28

ANALYSIS: Who could replace Nene? Get to know Barbara Creecy and Mondli Gungubele

With the likelihood of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation growing by the hour, attention is now focused on who is likely to replace him should he quit.

08 Oct 10:22

READ: #StateCaptureInquiry: Nene in his own words

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene testified before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Wednesday, where he denied any wrongdoing in his meetings with the Gupta family and said he refused to sign the agreement for Russia to provide nuclear energy.

08 Oct 10:19

Rand could weaken to under R15/$ if Nene resigns, say analysts

The rand could fall below R15/$ if President Cyril Ramaphosa accepts Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation.

08 Oct 10:16

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene testified before the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture on Wednesday.  

Assistant editor Pieter Du Toit is joined by legal reporter Jeanette Chabalala and politics reporter Tshidi Madia on what has unfolded so far.

08 Oct 10:11

Rob Davies and Nhlanhla Nene sit next to each other during the Presidential Jobs Summit at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.  

During the opening of the two day summit, the government, labour and business, struck a deal that could see the creation of about 275 000 jobs a year. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

08 Oct 10:05

He failed to say 'me too', says analyst as Nene's 'squeaky clean' image takes hit

Nhlanhla Nene took over as South Africa’s finance minister as a safe pair of hands to help restore confidence after years of scandal and alleged corruption under former President Jacob Zuma. On Wednesday, his reputation took a hit.

08 Oct 10:03

Nhlanhla Nene's 10 contacts with the Guptas mapped and annotated

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene this week admitted to having a series of engagements with one of former president Jacob Zuma's favourite families, the Guptas, who are at the centre of the state capture network in South Africa.

08 Oct 10:02

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene is seen during Zondo's commission of inquiry into state capture.  

Testifying at the inquiry, Nene revealed that, in a two to three minute meeting, former president Jacob Zuma told Nene he was removing him a finance minister and that he would be deployed at the Brics bank. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

08 Oct 10:00

Nhlanhla Nene on Gupta meetings: 'I am human too, I do make mistakes'

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says he was wrong to have met the Guptas at their Saxonwold mansion in Johannesburg and he "begs" South Africans' forgiveness.

08 Oct 09:58

Nene asked to resign in phone call to Ramaphosa

News24 has independently obtained confirmation that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties.

08 Oct 09:58

#StateCaptureInquiry: 5 revelations from Nene's testimony

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told the state capture commission of inquiry that his December 2015 axing was linked to the nuclear build programme which then president Jacob Zuma sought to finalise.

08 Oct 09:58

Nene: I'm sorry, I was wrong in meeting the Guptas

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has apologised to South Africans for meeting the controversial Gupta family between 2009 and 2014.

08 Oct 09:58

Nene said to face pressure to quit over meetings with Guptas

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is under pressure to resign after he last week disclosed to an anti-corruption commission that he met members of the Gupta family at their Johannesburg residence six times, people familiar with the situation said.

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