Nene's involvement with son's business dealings questioned

2018-10-05 09:30
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene (File, Netwerk24)

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene (File, Netwerk24)

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Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has been pulled into the orbit of a questionable investment by the Public Investment Corporation in Mozambique, after it emerged that a business partner of his son scored millions of rand in the deal. 

The Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane reported on Friday that the PIC had invested almost a billion rand in a Mozambican oil refinery after a company in which Siyabonga Nene and his business partner Muhammad Amir Mirza are named as directors introduced the possible investment to the PIC in February 2014 - while Nene Sr was chairperson of the PIC board. 

Nene Jr and Mirza's company, Indiafrec, were not named as the PIC's investment partner, although Mirza in his personal capacity was roped in to become a major shareholder, along with the PIC.

The PIC paid a company owned by Mirza a "referral fee" of R18.5m, held in an offshore account in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the PIC - represented by Dan Matjila as its chief investment and later chief executive officer - later helped negotiate an exit package from the refinery for Mirza to the value of $3.3m, according to the Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane. 

Rumours have been circulating about Nene Sr's involvement in facilitating finance for his son's business dealings, and the minister on Wednesday told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he denied any impropriety.

"I deny that I ever acted inappropriately with regard to any investments made by the PIC. I deny any and every allegation that I knowingly acted to provide any funding from the PIC for any business involving my son," he said.

READ: 5 revelations from Nene's State Capture Inquiry testimony

The EFF has strongly attacked Nene over the past week, calling him "not an honest witness" and saying he is unfit to serve as finance minister.

READ: Lie and we will lay perjury charges against you - Malema has a warning for Nene

Nene's spokesperson told the Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane that the minister did not discuss his son's business with the PIC.

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