So within one crazy whirlwind week, the seemingly unimpeachable Nhlanhla Nene has resigned as finance minister, and been replaced by former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni. It seems scarcely credible but in a sense, President Cyril Ramaphosa had no choice but to do this. Nene’s fall echoes the cautionary tale of Simon Peter — the disciple who lied about knowing Jesus, when it was ruinous to admit any connection, but who later repented. Peter was forgiven, and Jesus subsequently declared Peter to be "the rock" on which his church was built. Last week, Nene admitted at the state capture commission that he’d had cosy chats with the Gupta family at their home on half a dozen occasions, from 2010 to 2014. He then apologised for doing that. But there it was: when asked about it by journalists months earlier, he’d claimed he’d never met the Guptas at their house. Unfortunately, there was little chance that someone who had been caught in a blatant lie and lost the public’s trust could co...

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