SA minister quits 'in interests of good governance'

SA minister quits 'in interests of good governance'

Last Wednesday, while giving testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, Nene admitted he had met with the controversial Gupta family at least six times at their Saxonwold home during his tenures as deputy finance minister as well as during the early stages of his first stint as head of Treasury.

Mr Zuma sacked him as finance minister in 2015, but he was reappointed by the current president in February. He made a public apology about the matter on Friday.

In a nationally televised address, Ramaphosa said he accepted Nene's resignation because of "errors of judgment" as a result of a controversy surrounding Nene's testimony in an ongoing graft inquiry in South Africa.

"These visits do cast a shadow on my conduct as a public office bearer".

The Guptas have been accused of having undue influence over former president Jacob Zuma and his executive, as well as operations at state owned enterprises which it used to loot billions from SA. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

Mboweni, the nation's fifth finance chief in less than three years, will have to oversee an economy that's fallen into recession and help Ramaphosa rebuild confidence battered by nearly nine years of mismanagement under former President Jacob Zuma.

The crisis over the finance minister had thrown a spotlight on Ramaphosa's promise to crack down on corruption and boost economic growth.

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"It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the commission's mandate to provide that information to the commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully".

The rand was 0.03% stronger at R14.5500 per dollar at 0700 GMT, having closed in NY at R14.5550.

Nene has also been praised by commentators for standing up to Zuma.

Jonas said he had refused and was warned he would be killed if he spoke of the proposal.

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

Opposition parties have called for his resignation.

South Africa, Africa's most advanced economy, slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year, and suffers a stubbornly high unemployment of about 28 percent. His appointment "will help to ensure stability and consistency in policy direction", especially with the mid-term budget due to be released on October 24, he said.

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