South Africa finance minister quits over links to Gupta family

Barbara Creecy

The rand trimmed some of its losses to trade 0,58 percent weaker at 14,8800 per dollar at 1557 GMT, having hit a session low of 14,9875 in early trade after the Business Day newspaper citing government sources as saying Nene had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to be released from his position.

The president confirmed that Nene had tendered his resignation. "In this process no person should be above scrutiny and no person should be above the law", Ramaphosa said.

South Africa's former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene looks on ahead of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing state capture in Johannesburg, South Africa October 3, 2018.

In a public apology after his testimony, Mr. Nene said he was sorry for failing to disclose the meetings, which took place when he was deputy finance minister and later when he was finance minister.

Nene led by example and set a new standard for Cabinet ministers, Rossouw said.

"It is a measure of his character and his commitment to the national interest that he has taken this decision to resign in the wake of errors of judgment‚ even though he has not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing".

Nene, who was widely respected by investors, served as finance minister from 2014 to 2015 until he was sacked by Zuma and was re-appointed by Ramaphosa earlier this year.

Mboweni, like mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, has been appointed in terms of rules which permit two ministers from outside parliament. I can't be very enthused... the markets might be happy...

Rossouw said that if Mboweni had to introduce changes to the mini budget, it would only be marginal.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko told News24 there was no official comment on the reports yet, while calls to Nene went unanswered.

RMB Head of Research Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana told Fin24 that the mini budget was meant to communicate if Treasury had stuck to its prescribed targets, set in the national Budget, and any amendments would be in line with these targets. "It won't affect it one iota", he said.

Ramaphosa has thanked Nene for his service, while also wishing Mboweni luck in the post.

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