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10 October 2018, 08:30 | Darnell Patrick
Nhlanhla Nene failed to disclose many private meetings with the Gupta brothersNIC BOTHMA EPA
In the latest flare-up of a widening corruption scandal, South Africa's finance minister has resigned from his cabinet post for failing to disclose his meetings with the controversial Gupta business family.
The decision, made by President Cyril Ramaphosa, comes after Nene chose to resign from the post on Tuesday morning following a public outcry sparked by his public apology last week over his multiple meetings with the Gupta family at their private home.
He said he was accepting Mr. Nene's resignation "in the interests of good governance".
But Nene apologized last week after telling a commission of inquiry about visits that he made years ago to the businesses and home of the Gupta family, who along with Zuma deny any wrongdoing.
Ramaphosa, who has pledged to clean up corruption and revive South Africa's struggling economy, has appointed Tito Mboweni, a former head of the South African Reserve Bank, as the new finance minister. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".
Ramaphosa's office responded and said they were not aware of Nene's request.
Zuma ruled for nearly nine years before the governing African National Congress forced him to quit in February and replaced him with his 65-year-old deputy and party leader, Ramaphosa.
Other senior government officials who spoke to News24 on Monday said that Nene's decision "was in keeping with his character" and that "it is probably the right thing to do".
"He said on the basis of that he is applying his mind to the issues that Minister Nene has raised with him".
He revealed, during proceedings, that then President Jacob Zuma fired him in 2015 because he refused to sign the nuclear deal and for "toeing the Gupta line". 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.
He also came under pressure to step down after it emerged that his son may have derived financial benefit from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) at a time when he was the organisation's chair.
The new finance minister, Mr. Mboweni, is seen as a safe pair of hands.
Nene apologised on Friday for his previously undisclosed meetings with Guptas, but it seems many South Africans are divided on what his future should be.
In congratulating Mboweni, the DA's finance spokesperson David Maynier commented that he had been "plucked from political obscurity" to be appointed as Nene's replacement.
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