Life, as we all know, is seldom a case of binaries.  Decisions are rarely purely one or the other. The case of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene presents South Africans with an impossible dilemma. There were plenty of ministers in former president Jacob Zuma’s administration who were dedicated converts to the cause of state capture. There are some, not many, who were in opposition.  Nene, however, seems to present a difficult, or nuanced case of someone who might have played along to an extent, and resisted in important respects, but subsequently lied about his involvement. What does President Cyril Ramaphosa do now? The argument in favour of firing Nene is strong. It would be different if he were a minister in a minor department with limited powers — but he is  finance minister, a post of immense responsibility and trust.  In our system, whoever holds this office is the bearer of the keys to the public purse. The government, as a whole, might decide how to spend their budgets, but it ...

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