Mon Oct 24 22:03:57 SAST 2016

Zuma: Rand was tanking before Nene was fired

TMG Digital | 17 March, 2016 14:47
Minister of Finance of South Africa Nhlanhla Nene during the World Economic Forum on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa, 05 June 2015.
Image by: NIC BOTHMA / EPA

President Jacob Zuma said former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was removed from the post for reasons of government - "the rand was on a downward slope".

The ouster of the respected Nene is described as South Africa's 9-12‚ a date significant for its shockwaves that saw the rand slide dramatically.

But Zuma‚ responding to questions in Parliament‚ said: "I have acted many times in changing ministers. There are always reasons if a minister has to be shifted or redeployed. There is no action in terms of removal or replacing ministers without reasons".

"There were reasons why Minister Nene had to be redeployed. They were reasons of government.

"Before Nene left‚ the rand was on a downward slope."

He later added that he wanted Nene to contribute "to the continent‚ to the globe" because he was so capable. Zuma previously said Nene would serve on the new BRICS bank‚ but this has not yet materialised.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane asked Zuma about the statement on Wednesday by deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas that the Gupta family had offered him the position of finance minister to replace Nene.

After clearing his throat and laughing‚ Zuma replied: "You would be well-placed to ask Jonas or the Guptas. Don't ask me. I am in charge of the government. I appoint‚ in terms of the constitution. There is no minister who is here‚ who was ever appointed by the Guptas or by anybody else."

Maimane was ordered out of the chamber after he contested Zuma's assertion that the rand was weakening before Nene was removed.

The DA MPs left the house en masse.


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