Cape Town - "I think the president has just taken away my freedom," Tito Mboweni said on Tuesday in his first comments to reporters as South Africa's new Finance Minister.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday appointed Mboweni, a former Reserve Bank governor and labour minister, as finance minister, replacing Nhlanhla Nene who admitted to having meetings with the Gupta family, who are at the centre of alleged corruption.
Nene faced calls to resign after he admitted visiting the Gupta brothers, friends of scandal-plagued former president Jacob Zuma who have been accused of high-level influence-peddling, and failing to disclose the meetings earlier.
Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
The rand firmed moments before Mboweni was announced finance minister at a ceremony in Cape Town. Banking stocks closed more than one percent firmer.