Expectations were high that Tito Mboweni’s appointment as finance minister last October would strengthen the National Treasury — an institution that had narrowly avoided state capture. Now there is increasing speculation that he will go after the May 8 elections, creating fresh uncertainty around SA’s most important ministry. Mboweni’s possible departure is not necessarily because he has proved to be high-handed and divisive — and has a Trumpian tweeting habit — but because he doesn’t actually want the job. Apparently, he took up the mantle from Nhlanhla Nene reluctantly after other more obvious candidates (including SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas) declined the offer.

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