South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has reportedly asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire him.
This comes after an enormous pressure from the political parties and public over his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, in which he admitted to have visited the controversial Gupta family at their residence. On Friday, Nene made a public apology about the whole matter.
The former President of the country, Jacob Zuma and the Guptas face a number of allegations on using their friendship as means of mutual self-enrichment.
In December 2015, Nhlanhla Nene was fired from the post of Finance Minister by Zuma, for blocking a multi-billion dollar nuclear deal with Russia that would have crippled South Africa’s economy. Later in February 2018, he was reappointed by Ramaphosa to turn around the finances of the country that fell into recession.
A South African newspaper reported, “Government sources said Nene approached Ramaphosa after the highly negative public reaction to his apology to South Africans on Friday for the meetings with the Gupta family when he served under Zuma.”
In a statement on Friday about his visits to the Gupta’s residence earlier, Nhlanhla Nene said “These visits do cast a shadow on my conduct as a public office bearer. I deeply regret these lapses and beg your (South Africans) forgiveness.”
Potential replacements are being considered and suggested to Ramaphosa. A few names top the list; Mcebisi Jonas, former deputy finance minister, LesetjaKganyago, South African Reserve Bank Governor, and Barbara Creecy, finance portfolio head in the Gauteng province.
The issue is likely to be discussed later on Monday at the meeting of the ruling African National Congress party.