Nene asked to resign in phone call to Ramaphosa
8 October 2018
News24 has independently obtained confirmation that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties.
This on the back of his appearance before the commission of inquiry into state capture last week, where he confirmed visiting the Gupta family on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2014.
It's understood the minister offered to resign during a phone call to the president.
Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following public pressure over his testimony last week.
A senior government official told News24 the reports were true and that the conversation took place telephonically, but refused to divulge any further information and instead directed questions to the Presidency and Nene.
The finance minister apologised on Friday for his visits to the Gupta family, who are placed at the centre of the state capture allegations. The Guptas have been accused of having improper influence over former president Jacob Zuma and his executive, as well as control of operations at state owned enterprises, which they used to loot billions of rand from South African taxpayers.
Political parties have rejected Nene's apology. The EFF, which called the finance minister a "horror story", said it would only accept his apology if he resigned.
Weekend reports indicated that Nene's future as finance minister was on shaky ground following his admission to the meetings, with some claiming Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy could be his replacement.
Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko told News24 there was no official comment on the reports yet, while calls to Nene went unanswered.
Other senior government officials who spoke to News24 on Monday said that Nene's decision "was in keeping with his character" and that "it is probably the right thing to do".
There are fears however that a new finance minister, three weeks before the tabling of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement - the so-called mini-budget - could lead to more political turbulence.