Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: REUTERS
Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: REUTERS

The public protector is to investigate a possible breach of the executive code of ethics by finance minister Nhlanhla Nene‚ DA MP David Maynier said on Tuesday.

Maynier said he had requested an investigation on Friday “in terms of Section 4 of the Executive Members Ethics Act (No 82 of 1998)‚ to determine whether there was any breach of the executive code of ethics‚ which is applicable to ministers‚ and to deputy ministers‚ in SA.”

“The alleged breach of the executive code of ethics relates to allegations surrounding a Public Investment Corporation [PIC] investment in S&S Refinarias‚ which reportedly included a US$ 1.7m ‘referral fee’‚ which may have benefited the minister’s son‚ Siyabonga Nene.”

Maynier said the public protector’s office had responded to the request on Monday.

“I received a reply from Oupa Segalwe‚ acting executive manager: communications and stakeholder management‚ dated 8 October 2018‚ confirming that the matter will be investigated by the good governance and integrity branch within the office of the public protector‚” Maynier said.

“These allegations are serious given the fact that‚ in terms of section 96(2)(b) of the constitution‚ ministers may not ‘expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and private interests’.”

Nene has faced intense scrutiny over the past week after he revealed that he had met the Gupta brothers several times‚ despite previous denials that he had had meetings with the family. News reports said Nene had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa for permission to step aside from his job.

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