David van Rooyen: ‘No (SAA, Nuke) deals signed during 4-day stint’

By Karabo Ngoepe, News24

Pretoria – New Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister David van Rooyen said he did not sign any deals during his short stint as finance minister.

“Unfortunately no deals were signed, if that is what you want to hear,” he told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday.

David van Rooyen, South Africa's incoming finance minister, pauses during his swearing in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The rand fell for a sixth day in the longest streak of losses since November 2013, stocks slid and bond prices tumbled the most on record after South African President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with a little-known lawmaker. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Van Rooyen was responding to a question on whether he had signed off on the Russian nuclear and the SAA Airbus deals. But he gave a generic answer, saying he did not sign “any deals”.

He was appointed to replace former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene on Wednesday, but only lasted four days in the position as the markets reacted negatively to his appointment.

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday made a U-turn on his appointment, moving him to Cogta, while at the same time redeploying Pravin Gordhan to the finance ministry.

“I want to urge all South Africans that our interest should be on focusing on the future. If possible, let’s avoid being stuck in the past,” he said.

Read also: SAFCEI: Trillion Rand confusion. Has cabinet approved nuke deal?

‘Judge me on my actions’

“Nevertheless, I must indicate that as a humble servant of the glorious movement called the ANC, I’m ready to be deployed anywhere at any time by this movement. Even if it’s for two hours or even if it’s for four days, I’m ready. I will ask South Africans to judge me on my actions,” said Van Rooyen.

He said he did not hold a grudge about the manner in which things had turned out.

“Let me from the outset state that I understand and support the decisions made by President Zuma. As a loyal and disciplined cadre of the ANC, I look forward to serving the South African public. Our president has placed our country first,” he said.

Read also: Cost to SA of Zuma – v Rooyen + Gordhan – Nene = R171bn

“I echo President Jacob Zuma’s words in saying that, as a democratic government, we must constantly listen to our citizenry and respond to their views.”

Van Rooyen called on the nation to not focus on the past, but to rather look at the future and work with him. He said he was aware of the challenges that lay ahead of him, but due to his experience at local government, he was ready to face them.

News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/i-signed-no-deals-as-finance-minister-van-rooyen-20151215