Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane had President Jacob Zuma in a corner when he asked him why he axed a perfectly capable finance minister (Nhlanhla Nene) for “no reason”, but was now overtly protecting a patently inept Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. The best Msholozi could come up with was that Maimane’s assertion was false because he (Maimane) ‘did not know’ his reasons for firing Nene. He chose not to enlighten the nation. He could hardly let us in on his reasons – that could be tantamount to political suicide. There’s no great mystery. In the absence of any transparency, they almost certainly were; Nene’s reluctance to fund the R1trn nuclear programme, his inquiry into the squandering of funds at the SABC and his ruling against SAA in negotiations with Airbus (remember Zuma’s girlfriend SAA CEO Dudu Myeni). Nene’s defiance of Zuma and his shady allies ended in an insane show of political strength in December 2015, sending the rand into free-fall and wiping billions off South Africa’s stock and bond markets overnight. Nene was replaced with ANC backbencher Des van Rooyen, who after serving four days amidst national uproar, was moved to the portfolio of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, making way for Pravin Gordhan’s re-appointment and restoring stability. Nuclear affordability, shareholder oversight over SAA and the squandering of millions at the SABC remain to this day albatrosses around the nation’s neck, in what seems to strengthen the view that these were the chief reasons the Zuptoid faction wanted Nene out the way. Witness the subsequent relentless Zuptoid assaults on Gordhan. With a more compliant finance minister, there would be unimaginable riches and benefits for all (snouters that is)…Yes indeed, Zuma surely had – and has – his reasons… – Chris Bateman
By Liesl Peyper
Cape Town – “You say a sitting finance minister was removed without reason. But you don’t know the reasons why I removed a sitting finance minister.”
This is the response President Jacob Zuma gave in the National Assembly on Thursday when asked by the DA leader Mmusi Maimane about his alleged protection of Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
“How could you protect a minister, such as Bathabile Dlamini (following her failure to secure the social grant payments to beneficiaries on 1 April),” Maimane asked, “yet you fire a sitting finance minister (Nhlanhla Nene) who has done nothing wrong.”
Zuma unceremoniously removed Nene from the finance portfolio on 9 December 2015, which sent the rand into free-fall and wiped off billions from South Africa’s stock and bond markets.
Nene was replaced with ANC backbencher Des van Rooyen, who after serving only four days, was moved to the portfolio of cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
Pravin Gordhan who served as finance minister between 2009 and 2014 was reappointed to the position.
It is not the first time that Zuma hinted that he had “reasons” for removing Nene.
He initially said markets “overreacted” to Nene’s firing and later during a parliamentary sitting hinted that things had not been perfect during Nene’s tenure as finance minister.
“He (Nene) did not receive a good rating from the DA in their report card,” Zuma said at the time. “In fact, they said he hadn’t performed and asked for his dismissal.”
Zuma at the time also insisted that Van Rooyen was the “most qualified” financial minister that he ever appointed. – Fin24