The Economic Freedom Fighters have largely welcomed the news that President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted Nhlanhla Nene’s request to step down as finance minister.
Ramaphosa announced Nene’s resignation on Tuesday afternoon.
This, after Nene admitted during testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry last week that he had visited the controversial Gupta family six times at their Saxonwold home while he served as deputy finance minister and during the start of his tenure as head of Treasury.
He also apologised to the country for meeting with them at their private home.
The Guptas are accused of having undue influence over former president Jacob Zuma and his executive and of looting South African taxpayers through state-owned enterprises.
The EFF had called on Nene to give an honest account of his meetings with the Guptas, which Nene previously denied.
The party also said it would only accept his apology if he stepped down as minister.
In a statement released by the EFF shortly after Ramaphosa’s announcement, the red berets welcomed the news, but also asked the president to release more ministers.
“Ramaphosa must apply the same consistency with other ministers who continue to serve in his Cabinet, like Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini,” said party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Ndlozi said the three showed the same disregard for ethical conduct as Nene, who was replaced following “the unethical conduct of lying and misleading the public about his relations with the Gupta criminal syndicate”.
The EFF spokesperson also insisted that this undermined Parliament’s accountability mechanisms.
“Their continued stay in Cabinet sends a message that Ramaphosa is inconsistent and fails to put the interest of South Africans above those of [the] ANC’s big shots,” said Ndlozi.
While the EFF welcomed former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni’s appointment to Treasury, it called on him to prioritise the interests of the people of South Africa, in particular the black majority who were battling unemployment and poverty.
Source – News24