Listen to Nene and let him go‚ Malema tells Ramaphosa

08 October 2018 - 15:59
By Amil Umraw
EFF leader Julius Malema says President Cyril Ramaposa should relieve finance minister Nhlanhla Nene from his duties
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES EFF leader Julius Malema says President Cyril Ramaposa should relieve finance minister Nhlanhla Nene from his duties

EFF leader Julius Malema has challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to accept embattled finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s offer to resign from cabinet.

According to Business Day‚ Nene asked Ramaphosa to remove him from his post in the wake of Nene’s testimony at deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s inquiry into state capture last week‚ where the finance minister said he had met with the controversial Gupta family at least half a dozen times during his tenure as deputy finance minister and later as minister.

In a written letter to Ramaphosa‚ Malema said South Africa was undergoing serious economic difficulties - and one of the ingredients towards economic recovery was a credible finance minister.

“The unfortunate reality is that both domestic and global owners of money‚ who are the ones whom you argue should play a role in stimulating economic activity to realise growth and job creation‚ will not do so under a compromised minister of finance. Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance‚” Malema said.

“The reality is that [Nene] was friends of the Gupta criminal syndicate‚ visited them often‚ discussed sensitive state businesses with them‚ and therefore one of the enablers of state capture and corruption. The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚ which is supposed to be a statement to build confidence amongst all important economic role players‚ cannot‚ and should not‚ be delivered by a minister who was part of the Gupta criminal syndicate.”

In his letter to Ramaphosa‚ Malema also alleged there was more to the allegations around Nene.

“We have it in good authority that the current public revelations about your minister of finance are not complete. There are various other sensitive developments around him that render him incapable of being a member of the Executive‚” Malema said.

“[Nene] has no integrity and will not only damage your Executive but will undermine South Africa’s prospects of getting out of the economic crises of negative growth and massive job losses…Our fundamental political and ideological differences should never be a basis of looking down on our constant prudent advice and guidance on areas of national interest.”

Nene's spokesperson‚ Jabulani Sikhakhane‚ was not available for comment at the time of publishing.

In a series of tweets‚ the red berets’ second-in-charge‚ Floyd Shivambu‚ accused Nene of being a liar.

“He is a liar‚ who is being assisted by one other minister in the current government to concoct stories and use the media platforms they control for PR exercises. The EFF assures the people of South Africa that‚ like we won with Zuma‚ we will win the battle against Nhlanhla Nene‚” he tweeted.