Tito Mboweni appointed new finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene’s abrupt resignation

Clay Curtis
October 10, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former central bank Governor Tito Mboweni as his finance minister on Tuesday, replacing Nhlanhla Nene, who lied about his meetings with three businessmen accused of plundering state funds.

"I can confirm that he has been in engagement with Mr Nene and I can also confirm that there has been correspondence that has been exchanged between them and they have spoken on the phone... so they have had ongoing conversations".

Meanwhile, Malema - in a written letter to Ramaphosa on Monday - said SA was undergoing serious economic difficulties, and one of the ingredients in an economic recovery was a credible finance minister. He oversaw the implementation of a raft of new laws to protect worker rights - a regime that a number of analysts say has fueled a 27% unemployment rate.

While the governing ANC has praised Nene's contribution during his tenure.

Mboweni has since served as an adviser to investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and has been a director at the New Development Bank established by Brics.

The party said it would have been better if Nene had acknowledged all the Gupta meetings from the onset but said the important thing was that he had taken responsibility for his weakness and resigned.

He's set to deliver the medium-term budget policy statement in two weeks' time.

Nene got himself embroiled in a scandal after he admitted to having visited the controversial Gupta family businesses in Midrand as well as their residence in Saxonwold between 2010 to 2014, when he was deputy minister and minister finance respectively. Government bonds and banking stocks also gained.

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These dubious meetings were revealed last week, during Nene's explosive testimony before the Commission of Inquiry Into State Capture.

The Guptas, who face numerous allegations of using their friendship with former leader Jacob Zuma for mutual self-enrichment, have consistently denied any wrongdoing. "He will strengthen Ramaphosa's hand in cabinet".

They have singled out ministers Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini.

The ANC forced Zuma to quit as president in February after nearly nine years in office, clearing the way for his 65-year-old deputy and party leader Ramaphosa to take over.

Several ministers and government officials have been implicated in the widening graft scandals around the Guptas.

"Mr Mboweni brings to this position vast experience in areas of finance, economic policy and governance", Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa's office responded and said they were not aware of Nene's request. "Foreign investors, after a well-managed political transition, have been disappointed and the links between the Guptas and Nene shows it is hard to erase the past".

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