President accepts Nene resignation - Mboweni appointed finance minister

Lesetja Kganyago

Ramaphosa announced that Tito Mboweni, a former South African Reserve Bank Governor, will replace Nene as finance minister. Watch the full announcement here.

On Monday‚ Business Day reported that Nene had asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following public pressure over his testimony at the state capture inquiry‚ at which he admitted to meeting the Gupta family on numerous occasions and at their private Saxonwold home.

"The Nene case shows how it is hard for Ramaphosa to change the country", Tresca said.

Ramaphosa said Mboweni, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank, brings in much-needed leadership.

South Africa, Africa's most advanced economy, slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year, and suffers a stubbornly high unemployment of about 28 percent.

According to Maimane, only one minister, Rob Davis, officially met with the controversial family, but since the revelation that finance minister Nhlanhla Nene had met with them several times while deputy finance minister, despite having previously denied this, Maimane wants to grill other ministers under the belief that they too may have met with the Guptas.

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The Guptas have been accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma to secure government contracts and determine cabinet appointments.

"Mr Nene served the people and government of South Africa with diligence and ability", Ramaphosa told reporters in Cape Town.

"South Africa is undergoing serious economic difficulties and massive job losses, and one of the ingredients towards economic recovery is a credible Minister of Finance", said Julius Malema, head of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.

Political parties have rejected Nene's apology.

It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency. Nene said during his testimony to the inquiry he was sacked in December 2015 for refusing to agree to Zuma's plans to spend billions of dollars on new nuclear plants. Ramaphosa's spokeswoman Khusela Diko did not respond to phone calls.

Ramaphosa stressed that Nene "has not been implicated in any act of wrongdoing himself" and hailed him as a minister who had "defended the cause of proper financial management as well as clean governance".

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