Nene’s credibility was not shattered; he should have continued with his duties

Monwabisi Ndabankulu. Picture: Supplied
Monwabisi Ndabankulu. Picture: Supplied

The relationship between the former finance minister and the Gupta family and the meetings he had with them leaves a lot to be desired.

The failure by Nhlanhla Nene to take the opportunity to come forward with the information he had after a call made by the ANC when it emerged that some deputy ministers were being offered ministerial promotions was a blunder.

South Africa expected all those who had an opportunity to be invited in the Gupta residence to come forth and disclose their encounters with the family.

A few did, including his former deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas.

It sounds like if it wasn’t for the Zondo Commission of inquiry, before which the minister had to appear and share his experience on the state capture allegations, the information would not have been revealed.

The minister had sufficient time to come forward with much needed information, which would have exposed corrupt projects that were being pursued by his former boss, but chose to keep that with him until it was too late.

The alleged corrupt claims were brought to the fore by the Economic Freedom Fighters, who threatened that, should he fail to disclose his meetings with the Gupta family to the Zondo Commission, it would be done on his behalf.

The manner in which people called for his head seemed to be hypocritical, we are not being honest to ourselves.

We seem to have forgotten that this is the same minister who stood his ground when he was being pressurised by the corrupt elements who needed his signature badly to advance their interests.

Nhlanhla Nene giving evidence to the Zondo commission of inquiry. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24

The fact that Nene made the decision not to take the calls from the Gupta brothers soon after he was promoted to the senior ministerial position should tell us something. He wasn’t like most of the ministers who succumbed to the pressure and signed off government resources to the corrupt family and their cronies. He stood his ground and showed us that whatever corrupt arrangements he had with the family if they were any between them were no longer going to be feasible.

As a result of that, the minister indicated that he was accused of insubordination not only by the president but by some of his colleagues and, most importantly, he lost his job because he was not willing to sell the country to the vampires. This means that some ministers are appointed not to serve the country but to please the president, even if it means to collapse the economy of their own country.

The stance the minister took should be enough for South Africa to say yes he had made a mistake by meeting with the corrupt family. But turning his back on them should be more than enough to be forgiven. With all the revelations we all have heard about the minister I believe that he still has the credibility to have continued in the finance portfolio – to rescue and strengthen our economy as he was brought back in that portfolio to do so.

Monwabisi Ndabankulu is an independent political analyst


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