Let Nhlanhla Nene go, EFF and DA tell Cyril Ramaphosa
The DA's David Maynier says although Nene stood up to Jacob Zuma by refusing to sign off on the nuclear build plan, he displayed poor judgment by agreeing to visits with the Guptas
The DA and the EFF have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to accept finance minister Nhlanhla Nene's offer to resign.
Earlier on Monday, Business Day reported that Nene had asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following public pressure over his testimony at the state capture inquiry, at which he admitted to meeting the Gupta family on numerous occasions and at their private Saxonwold home.
The request came after some political parties rejected his apology for the previously undisclosed meetings with the family when he served as deputy minister and minister of finance, respectively.
It is still unclear whether Ramaphosa will accede to the request.
DA finance spokesperson David Maynier said that although Nene had stood up to former president Jacob Zuma when he refused to sign off on the nuclear build programme, he displayed poor judgment by agreeing to visits with the Guptas.
He said Nene may have also breached the executive code of ethics as a result of a Public Investment Corporation (PIC) investment that may have benefited his son, Siyabonga Nene, and failed to disclose any of this information to Ramaphosa prior to his appointment as finance minister.
The Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane reported on Friday that Siyabonga Nene had asked the PIC to fund part of a deal to buy a stake in a refinery in Mozambique.
Maynier said that to Nene's credit, he had issued an apology expressing regret for his mistakes, which he conceded were based on poor judgment.
"However, in the end, the minister’s conduct, taken together with the fact that he is likely to be the subject of at least two ongoing investigations, which will drag on for months, now risks compromising public confidence in the national Treasury," he said.
The DA called on Ramaphosa to replace Nene and move quickly to do so before the medium-term budget policy statement is presented in parliament on October 24.
The EFF, which has been vocal about its opposition to Nene, said its leader, Julius Malema, had formally written to Ramaphosa calling on him to let Nene go.
"Treasury cannot be presided over by a person without integrity," the party said. "Nene has lied on numerous occasions about his role in cabinet and government. He has also facilitated the capture of the state by the criminal Gupta syndicate."
Earlier in 2018, Malema said Nene was "corrupt as hell", questioning whether he had met dubious business people and had intervened on their behalf.
The state capture inquiry has called on anyone with information to come forward. The inquiry is investigating the allegations made against Nene by the EFF.