South African finance minister Nene resigns over Gupta scandal

Nhlanhla Nene resigned after he admitted to visiting a business family at the heart of a corruption scandal.

    Nhlanhla Nene claims he was initially fired in 2015 for refusing to compromise his position [Reuters]
    Nhlanhla Nene claims he was initially fired in 2015 for refusing to compromise his position [Reuters]

    South Africa's finance minister has resigned after acknowledging missteps during the scandal-tainted tenure of former president Jacob Zuma while testifying in a corruption inquiry.

    Nhlanhla Nene resigned over discrepancies in his accounts of meetings with a business family at the heart of a corruption scandal, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday.

    "I have decided to accept his resignation," Ramaphosa told journalists in Cape Town.

    Ramaphosa, who has pledged to clean up corruption and revive South Africa's struggling economy, has appointed Tito Mboweni, a former head of the South African Reserve Bank, as the new finance minister.

    Nene faced calls to resign after he admitted to visiting the Gupta brothers, friends of the former president Jacob Zuma who have been accused of high-level influence-peddling, and failing to disclose the meetings earlier.

    Nene was initially hailed as a hero when he told the inquiry that Zuma had fired him in 2015 for "refusing to toe the line" on projects that would have benefited the wealthy Gupta family and others close to the then-president.

    Nene told the inquiry that it was his belief that his refusal to sign off on a massive nuclear deal ultimately led to his dismissal in 2015 - which saw the rand crash.

    The Gupta family have been accused of using their friendship with Zuma to siphon off billions of rand in state funds and of inappropriately influencing cabinet appointments.

    Both Zuma and the Guptas - who are at the heart of the inquiry into so-called "state capture" - have denied any wrongdoing.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?