Ramaphosa brings in Tito to steady the ship

Date: 10 Oct 2018

With Nene gone, the spotlight turns to other Gupta-tainted ministers

THE RESIGNATION of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister yesterday has thrown a fresh spotlight on other ministers implicated in state capture through their association with the controversial Gupta family.Yesterday, opposition parties launched a renewed campaign for Minister in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to face the chop.

This while Business Unity SA (Busa) called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to implement lifestyle audits for public servants to root out corruption.

Ramaphosa, amid pressure from the markets and a weakening rand over uncertainty on the finance ministry, announced yesterday that Nene had resigned and former SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni had been appointed the new finance minister.

Ramaphosa said the government would continue to clamp down on corruption and state capture.

“It is critical that the (Zondo) Commission has the means and opportunity to effectively fulfil its mandate. In this process no person should be above scrutiny and all relevant and credible accusations of wrongdoing should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ramaphosa, adding that those with information must provide it to the commission.

The president said the commission must get to the bottom of state capture in the country, identify those responsible and take action against them.

The developments have now shifted the spotlight to other ministers alleged to have Gupta ties, with opposition yesterday making fresh calls for their removal, arguing that Nene should not be the only one to take the fall for state capture.

The EFF, which had been vocal in pushing for Nene’s ouster, said Ramaphosa must take action against other ministers implicated in state capture.

“The EFF welcomes the decision by Ramaphosa to remove Nene from the position of finance minister following his unethical conduct and misleading the public with the Guptas. “Ramaphosa must apply the same consistency with other ministers who continue to serve in his Cabinet like Gigaba, Mokonyane and Dlamini,” said the EFF.

“These ministers have demonstrated the same disregard (for) ethical conduct shown by Nene and, like Nene, they too have undermined Parliament’s accountability mechanisms,” said the EFF.

It said Ramaphosa must not be inconsistent in axing ministers implicated in state capture.

The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Ramaphosa must fire Gigaba and Dlamini for unethical conduct.

“Furthermore it is unfortunate that the president did not take this opportunity to fire Dlamini and Gigaba,” he said.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe hailed the decision by Nene to step down. Mabe, however, would not say whether the ANC would encourage its other implicated ministers to step down voluntarily should they also be implicated at the Zondo commission.

“Comrade Nene has applied his own mind in arriving at this decision. The president as the leader of government has accepted that decision.”

Cosatu, which called for Nene to go, welcomed the fact that the former minister was not pushed but left out of his own conscience.

The trade union federation said it fully supported Mboweni in his new role.

Business Unity SA demanded a commission of inquiry into stateowned asset management firm Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Nene has been battling allegations of impropriety and benefiting his son Siyabonga’s business associates and claims that he facilitated deals with the PIC for the controversial Gupta family when he was still deputy finance minister and the corporation’s chairperson.

Busa also wants lifestyle audits for key positions to be implemented as the government committed in last week’s Jobs Summit and ensure greater transparency in key appointments in the public service and state-owned enterprises.

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi, Siviwe Feketha and Loyiso Sidimba - siyabonga.mkhwanazi@inl.co.za  siviwe.feketha@inl.co.za   loyiso.sidimba@inl.co.za

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