President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman said his office was not aware of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s request to be relieved of his duties. File Photo: IOL
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman said his office was not aware of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s request to be relieved of his duties. File Photo: IOL
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman said on Monday his office was not aware of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s request to be relieved of his duties after he admitted to visiting the Gupta brothers.

“We are not aware of Minister Nene asking to be relieved of his duties,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

Earlier on Monday, it was reported that Nene asked Ramaphosa to be let go as the minister of finance. 

This was due to mounting pressure from a number of political parties over his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, according to a report by Business Day.

Nene made the revelation that he visited the Guptas last week at an inquiry on whether the Guptas, friends of former leader Jacob Zuma, had influenced government appointments.

Soon afterward, the minister made a public apology about the matter.   

Enormous pressure

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)

Nene has been under enormous pressure to resign.

Factions within the ANC have been discussing potential replacements that they could suggest to Ramaphosa, three senior party officials said, asking not to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Possible candidates 

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas is considered a front-runner, along with South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and one of his deputies, Daniel Mminele, the party officials said. 

Barbara Creecy, head of the finance portfolio in the Gauteng province, has been also been touted as a candidate, according to the officials.

REUTERS/BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE/BLOOMBERG