Nene apology invites public scrutiny

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
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Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has found himself embroiled in an embarrassing public apology. This comes after he failed to fully disclose his dealings with the Gupta family.

The minister’s apology comes at a particularly crucial time when he is about to present the medium-term budget speech in three weeks.

It also casts a shadow over his political credibility at a time when President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling for ethical leadership.

Nene has conceded that visits to the controversial Gupta family had cast a shadow on his conduct as a public office bearer. While some are calling for his head, economists are divided about how this scandal impacts his credibility.

There was no significant reaction on the markets following his apology. This could mean that the market has shrugged off the debacle.

But rating agencies will be keenly watching the upcoming medium-term budget speech and how this matter is handled as well.

The Economic Freedom Fighters has rejected the minister’s apology and some South Africans have also weighed in.

In a twitter poll conducted by the SABC, where more than 1000 users voted, the question asked if the public still had trust in the minister, so far a majority of voters say no.

The Democratic Alliance has asked the Public Protector to investigate the minister for ethics violations following revelations that his son was involved in a deal with the Public Investment Corporation when Nene was its chairperson.

Analysts agree that this investigation is necessary to get to the bottom of this.

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