Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

Daniel Mminele

Daniel Mminele

The Guptas, who face numerous allegations of using their friendship with former leader Jacob Zuma for mutual self-enrichment, have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Mboweni, the nation's fifth finance chief in less than three years, will have to oversee an economy that's fallen into recession and help Ramaphosa rebuild confidence battered by nearly nine years of mismanagement under former President Jacob Zuma.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted the resignation of the country's finance minister Nhlanhla Nene on Tuesday, following what the President described as "errors of judgement".

"These ministers have demonstrated the same disregard of ethical conduct shown by Nene and like Nene they too have undermined parliament's accountability mechanisms", the EFF said in a statement.

The party said it "noted" Tito Mboweni's appointment as finance minister and called on him to prioritise the needs of South Africans, especially the poor. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness". Ramaphosa promised to curb corruption that has contributed to South Africa's economic problems, though critics question whether he has the will and clout to scrutinize top levels of the ruling African National Congress party ahead of elections next year.

"Ramaphosa is cleaning things up and laying a platform so that he is able to campaign confidently when it is election time", Kwandiwe Kondlo, politics professor at the University of Johannesburg, told AFP.

"He was lucky because Nene is the kind of person who would admit when he has made a mistake without being pushed".

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The rand was 0.18 percent stronger at 14.84 per dollar at 07:10 GMT, having closed in NY at R14.86.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

On the state capture inquiry, Ramaphosa said: "No person should be above scrutiny and no person should be above the law".

The rand gained 0.9% to R14.72/$ by 5.25pm in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4%.

Opposition parties have called for his resignation.

"Mr Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a critical time for our economy, as we intensify co-operation among all social partners to increase investment, accelerate growth and create jobs on a substantial scale".

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