CAPE TOWN - On early Monday morning, a number of media outlets reported that Nhlanhla Nene asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to be let go as the minister of finance.
This comes after mounting pressure from a number of political parties over his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
David Maynier, the DA Shadow Minister of Finance, said on Sunday, "we now know that President Ramaphosa was informed about Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene’s meetings with inter alia Ajay Gupta at Saxonwold despite being suspicious of the family’s intentions, and allegations surrounding investments by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) that may have benefited his son, Siyabonga Nene, before he provided his evidence to the Zondo Commission."
"However, despite being informed prior to evidence being provided, and despite the evidence being provided several days ago to the Zondo Commission, President Ramaphosa has up until now maintained his silence on this matter."
Maynier believes that Ramaphosa now needs to answer whether the minister still has his “full support”, and he needs to answer the question before the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is presented in Parliament.
"We simply cannot afford the uncertainty that would surround what would effectively be a “lame duck” finance minister, who may, or may not, have the full support of the president, and who may stay, or may go, ahead of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament, " Maynier said.
"I have, in any event, forced Ramaphosa’s hand by submitting a parliamentary question to the president probing whether the finance minister disclosed any information contained in his evidence prior to his appointment and/or prior to providing evidence to the Zondo Commission; offered to resign prior to providing evidence to the Zondo Commission; and has the full support of the president in the light of his obligation in terms of Section 96 of the Constitution.
Maynier concluded that it is now time for President Ramaphosa to "step up and break his silence", and tell SA whether Nhlanhla Nene has his full support ahead of the medium term statement.
The new Finance Minister
According to reports, replacements for Nene include former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and one of his deputies, Daniel Mminele, and Barbara Creecy, head of the finance portfolio in the Gauteng province.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE