Nhlanhla Nene's Gupta trysts rattle Cyril Ramaphosa's clean-up
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ambitious plans to rescue SA’s economy from the ravages of state capture are in the balance today, after a gulf in trust opened up between him and finance minister Nhlanhla Nene this week over the latter’s private meetings with the Guptas and his failure to disclose them.
Until Nene’s shock disclosures at the Zondo commission this week, he and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan had been the aces up Ramaphosa’s sleeve in his clean-up campaign.
Now the finance ministry is again in the balance, and there are serious questions about Nene’s credibility, particularly over whether the Guptas had any role in his previous deployments as minister and deputy minister of finance, and whether he ever acted under their instruction.
The Sunday Times has learnt that when he was reappointed to the cabinet in February, Nene did not disclose to Ramaphosa that he had seven meetings with the Guptas during his previous stints in the finance ministry. In a response to questions from the Sunday Times, Nene said he did not think that the meetings he had with the Guptas were relevant for the purpose his appointment, but “looking back I should have informed the president then, or subsequently”.
Read the full story in the Sunday Times