Nene asks to be fired

Dr. Zweli Mkhize

President Cyril Ramaphosa should accede to embattled finance minister Nhlanhla Nene's request that he be allowed to step down.

There has been mixed emotions the past week on Minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene's confession to private meetings with the Gupta family.

The biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, issued a similar call, saying Nene is likely to be the subject of lengthy investigations and that he risks "compromising public confidence" in the National Treasury.

Political analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi says there is pressure for Nene to resign.

The Sunday Times has learnt that when he was reappointed to cabinet in February, Nene did not disclose to Ramaphosa that he had seven meetings with the Guptas during his previous stint as finance minister and as deputy minister before that. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness", he said in the statement that was addressed to South Africans.

"Clearly what the markets would be watching is if there is any change in the finance ministry and if there is, what would be absolutely vital is who replaces Minister Nene".

Themba Maseko tweeted a few days ago that if every single person in Cabinet was to say whether or not they have been to the Gupta family Saxonwold compound, you could feel up FNB stadium.

Nene said he believed he was sacked because he refused to "toe the line" on projects, including a since-abandoned deal for nuclear energy, that may have benefited the Gupta family and other Zuma associates.

"Government sources said Nene approached Ramaphosa after the highly negative public reaction to his apology to South Africans on Friday for the meetings with the Gupta family when he served under Zuma", the South African newspaper said.

The party's top six held a lekgotla this weekend.

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