Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Photo: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Photo: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Nhlanhla Nene to shed light on removal at state capture inquiry

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Oct 2, 2018

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Johannesburg - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is expected to take the hot seat at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday to shed light on details leading up to his unexpected firing in 2015.

Nene was fired by former president Jacob Zuma as finance minister in December 2015, leading to a shockwave through the markets. 

He was replaced by then ANC MP backbencher Des van Rooyen, who was later removed after only serving four days as the minister of finance. 

Nene's appearance at the inquiry is expected to be followed by that of current Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan - who also served as finance minister before Nene. 

Nene's departure sent shockwaves through the political sphere with questions raised about Zuma's motivation for the decision. 

It was also believed that the former president had fired Nene based on his refusal to approve a nuclear deal worth billions of rands that was allegedly being forced through by Zuma. 

Nene had also refused to buckle under pressure when he was asked to approve a proposal from the SAA board for the restructure of the reflecting transaction with Airbus in 2015

The state capture inquiry is investigating allegations of corruption centred around the controversial Gupta family. 

The family used its relationship with Zuma to enrich themselves through corrupt business deals involving government officials and state-owned enterprises.  

Business Day reported that Nene is also expected to shed light on his meetings with the Gupta family, which took place while he was the deputy minister of finance. 

Meanwhile, the EFF has called for Nene to resign from his position after he is done with his testimony at the commission. 

The party claimed Nene had been dishonest about his relationship with the Gupta family and believes he worked closely with the family to support their business interests. 

Inquiry granted the two-year extension 

The North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday confirmed that state capture inquiry had been granted an extension to complete its work from 180 days to 24 months. 

This will be calculated from March 2018 as the commission start date to March 2020 as the end date. 

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the inquiry, had asked for the extension as it became clear that the commission would not be able to meet the 180 days deadline to submit a report to President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

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