BBC: Van Rooyen was with the Guptas the night before Nene was fired

By Alec Hogg

The BBC, acknowledged as one of the most credible news sources on earth, is reporting that “Weekend Special” Finance Minister Des van Rooyen spent the evening before #Nenegate at the home of the Gupta family.

This explosive evidence, drawn from cell phone records, is being pinpointed as the major reason why both Van Rooyen and SA President Jacob Zuma are desperate to stop outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing her investigation into State Capture.

David van Rooyen, South Africa's incoming finance minister, left, shakes hands with Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president, 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 *** Local Caption *** David van Rooyen; Jacob Zuma
David van Rooyen shakes hands with Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, during his swearing in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on December 10, 2015. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Madonsela has been blocked from releasing her report by a last minute legal challenge launched by Zuma.

The BBC’s Southern Africa Correspondent Karen Allen has reported that “Sources close to Ms Madonsela say evidence gathered from cellphones…reveal that the night before Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was sacked last December, the man who was selected to succeed him was drinking tea with the Guptas at their home in Johannesburg. The sources say the cellphone evidence corroborates a whistle blower’s story that the Gupta family had undue influence over government appointments.”

The shock Wednesday evening firing of Nene to be replaced by unknown backbencher Van Rooyen sparked a massive selloff of South African bonds, the Rand and interest rate sensitive stocks. Losses hit R500bn by the close of trading two days later.

It was only after an urgent delegation of leading business personalities impressed upon ANC leaders that this was only the start of the a potential disaster that Zuma agreed to replace Van Rooyen with the respected Pravin Gordhan, whom he had demoted two years earlier.

Zuma has been in a running battle with Gordhan ever since, culminating this week in the laying of trumped-up criminal charges against the Finance Minister by the Zuma-friendly National Prospecting Authority.

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