Peter Bruce Columnist

Let’s get this straight. We owe finance minister Nhlanhla Nene big time. He had the courage to stand up to the bullying of former president Jacob Zuma, and by simply refusing to bend the knee and sign what Zuma wanted him to sign, he saved us from certain fiscal disaster. His testimony on Wednesday before judge Raymond Zondo’s inquiry into state capture was measured and credible. He recalled a meeting in his office in mid-2015 when his secretary pushed a note across his desk. “The president wants to see you,” it said. Nene indicated he’d go after the meeting. She came in again. Zuma meant come NOW. “I left the meeting immediately,” he told the commission, “murmuring that perhaps I was going to be fired. On arrival, I found President Zuma with a senior Malaysian official from Engen/Petronas who I did not know. He explained that SA needed to own a refinery and that Petronas was prepared to sell its refinery to PetroSA. Further and most importantly, President Zuma stated that PetroSA w...

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