Malema's EFF declares 'war' to remove South Africa's finance minister

Dr. Zweli Mkhize

Dr. Zweli Mkhize

Mboweni became the sixth finance minister in the last five years after Nhlanhla Nene resigned from the position on Tuesday morning amid a controversy over his apology for multiple meetings with the Gupta family at their private home in Saxonwold. "He will strengthen Ramaphosa's hand in cabinet".

Former central bank chief Tito Mboweni will take over from Nene.

South Africa's former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene looks on ahead of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing state capture in Johannesburg, South Africa October 3, 2018.

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The rand gained 0.9 percent to 14.71 per dollar by 5:25 pm in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4 percent on the news.

Mboweni was born on March 16, 1959, and he was the eighth governor of the South African Reserve Bank and the first black South African to hold the post.

All the while, the country's third largest political party, the EFF had been shouting from the side-lines for Nene to "come clean", threatening to expose him if he did otherwise. It is a measure of his character that he had taken this decision.

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The Guptas have been accused of having improper influence over former president Jacob Zuma and his executive, as well as control of operations at state owned enterprises, which they used to loot billions of rand from South African taxpayers.

Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister. Five months after refusing to sign a letter of guarantee that would have given the project to Russia's state-controlled nuclear energy company, Mr. Nene was sacked from Mr. Zuma's cabinet and was briefly replaced by a pro-Gupta minister.

It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency. Diko said Ramaphosa was concerned about the uncertainty the matter had created in financial markets, and reaffirmed his commitment to the project of economic stability and economic recovery. Ramaphosa has said combating graft is one of his top priorities, and he's replaced a number of other officials implicated in wrongdoing.

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Nene's appointment to Ramaphosa's Cabinet this year was widely welcomed as a break from the alleged plundering of state resources.

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