President Ramaphosa Remains Mum On Nene’s Future

President Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address in Parliament, Cape TownPICTURE: COPSAM

President Cyril Ramaphosa is keeping mum on the future of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene following his testimony at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that he had several meetings with members of the Gupta family in private.

The Presidency says he still has to decide on Nene’s future.

Earlier, Ramaphosa declined to answer journalists’ questions about the position of Nene, whose future is in doubt after he admitted to meetings with the Guptas.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of a new stamp bearing his image at his Tuynhuis office in Cape Town. The launch of the R4.20 stamp marks World Post Day. Ramaphosa says the Post Office continues to play an important role in the lives of people, even as technological advances are being made in communications.

“The Post Office is poised to deliver new goods new services as it moves on and I’ve no doubt that as it moves on as it creates new services it will also be creating new jobs because we are now in that situation where we’ve got in and everyone and society to talk no longer about lamenting complaints about lack of jobs and all that.”

Meanwhile, the Public Protector’s office has confirmed that it will look into a request by the Democratic Alliance to investigate  Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. The party wants Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to determine whether Nene breached the executive code of ethics and exposed himself to a conflict between his official responsibilities and private interests when he was deputy finance minister and later finance minister. 

Possible candidates to replace Nene

It is understood that Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago was Ramaphosa’s first choice to become finance minister when he put his cabinet together in February but ended up settling for Nene. 

Also in the mentioned is the Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy, who has been in the ANC government in Gauteng since 1994. She served in different portfolio committees at the provincial legislature until she was first appointed MEC of sports in 2004.

However, according to an Independent Political Analyst, Molifi Tshabalala, “Based on the names mentioned as possible replacements of Nhlanhla Nene, Barbara Creecy will make a good finance minister. Pravin Gordhan and Zweli Mkhize will also make for good finance minister.”

Meanwhile, Cooperative governance and traditional affair minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize’s name has also been mentioned as the possible candidate that might take over from Nene.

However, for Tshabalala, “Mkhize’s name has also been mentioned in a facilitation of corruption in recent months. This will augur well. This may not augur well at the time our economy is not doing well.”

“He may be forced to resign too. Gordhan has been at the centre of anti-white monopoly capital campaign,” he added.

In all the names proposed, Creecy appears to be on the only with an impeccable track record and she also served as MEC for education until she was moved to her current position.  

“Insofar as I know, there is no a major corruption scandal against Creecy, Tshabalala added.