Former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank Tito Mboweni has been sworn in as the new Minister of Finance following the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene on Tuesday.
Nene’s resignation comes after he revealed to the commission of inquiry into state capture that he had meetings with the controversial Gupta family between 2010 and 2014, something he had previously denied.
Despite his apology last week, Nene’s self-contradiction damaged his credibility, resulting in opposition parties calling for his resignation.
On Tuesday Nene tendered his resignation and President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted it. The president then appointed Mboweni as the new Minister of Finance on the same day.
Ramaphosa announced Nene’s resignation and Mboweni’s appointment in a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday afternoon. “Minister Nene this morning submitted a letter of resignation to me in which he requested that I should relieve him of his position of Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Africa. He has indicated that there is risk that the developments around his testimony that he gave to the commission on state capture would detract from the important task of serving the people of South Africa, particularly as we work to reestablish public trust in government. After due consideration of the circumstances surrounding this matter and in the interests of good governance, I have decided to accept his resignation,” the president said.
After thanking Nene for his service, the president went on to announce Mboweni’s appointment: “And in the wake of Mr Nene’s resignation, I have decided to appoint Mr Tito Mboweni as the Minister of Finance with immediate effect. As former governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, and before that as Minister of Labour, Mr Mboweni brings to this position vast experience in areas of finance, economic policy as well as in governance.”
Immediately after his appointment, Mboweni was sworn in by Judge Babalwa Pearl Mantame.
Ramaphosa’s “swift and decisive” action was widely welcomed. The rand strengthened from R15.06 per US dollar to around R14.70 following Mboweni’s announcement as new Finance Minister.