Tito Mboweni as finance minister: what it means

Charlene Craig
October 10, 2018

The Sunday Times reported that when Nene was reappointed to the Cabinet in February this year, he did not disclose to President Cyril Ramaphosa that he had had seven meetings with the Guptas during his previous Cabinet stint.

While Mboweni is South Africa's fifth finance minister less than three years, the financial markets welcomed his appointment and the rand erased losses and advanced as much as 1.4% against the dollar on Tuesday.

Mboweni, like mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, has been appointed in terms of rules which permit two ministers from outside parliament.

There have been mounting calls for Nene to resign after he admitted at the state capture inquiry that he DID meet with the Guptas on several occasions at their Saxonwold home.

Nhlanhla Nene resigned over discrepancies in his accounts of meetings with a business family at the heart of a corruption scandal, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday.

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The Gupta family, who are Indian expatriates, are accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma.

Former central bank chief Tito Mboweni will take over from Nene.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

After revealing the details of his own meetings, Mr Nene issued a public apology saying: "I am human too, I do make mistakes, including those of poor judgement".

Rumours of his intended resignation on Monday led to a fall in the value of South Africa's currency, the rand, but it has since recovered its value.

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Mboweni, who trained as an economist, served as head of the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009 and for four years as labour minister in the former President Nelson Mandela's cabinet.

He added that Nene feared his testimony to the inquiry "detracted from the important task of serving the people of South Africa particularly as we work to re-establish public trust in government".

For the EFF, Nene's position as finance minister is no longer tenable and they are determined to win what they are now calling a battle.

Opposition leaders, however, noted that Mr. Mboweni had been active on social media in the past and had once posted a tweet in which he called for state ownership of 40 per cent of all mining companies.

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