Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

Finance Minister Asked to Resign in Phone Call to Ramaphosa

The Guptas, who built a vast business empire in the mining and media industries in South Africa after forging a partnership with the son of former president Jacob Zuma, are now under criminal investigation on corruption allegations.

Mboweni, the nation's fifth finance chief in less than three years, will have to oversee an economy that's fallen into recession and help Ramaphosa rebuild confidence battered by nearly nine years of mismanagement under former President Jacob Zuma. The court further ordered her to pay 20% of the legal costs for the Black Sash and Freedom under law - the two non-governmental organisations that took her to court after Sassa said previous year that it would be unble to pay social grants from April 2017.

South Africa's top anti-graft body said it would investigate whether the finance minister breached ethics guidelines over a state pension fund investment, piling pressure on Nhlanhla Nene as he faced questions about his future.

After revealing the details of his own meetings, Mr Nene issued a public apology saying: "I am human too, I do make mistakes, including those of poor judgement".

"These visits do cast a shadow on my conduct as a public office bearer".

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In a move that was cheered by markets, the former Reserve Bank governor returned to the cabinet for the first time since 1998, when former president Nelson Mandela deployed him to the Bank, before he took over after Chris Stals retired in 1999. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

The crisis over the finance minister had thrown a spotlight on Ramaphosa's promise to crack down on corruption and boost economic growth.

"Ramaphosa is cleaning things up and laying a platform so that he is able to campaign confidently when it is election time", Kwandiwe Kondlo, politics professor at the University of Johannesburg, told AFP.

Botes said the rand would likely trade in a range between R14.83/$ and R15.00/$ on Tuesday.

Nene, speaking under oath at the hearings, also said that his then deputy Mcebisi Jonas was offered his job after Nene refused to back the nuclear proposals.

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Both Zuma and the Guptas - who are at the heart of the inquiry into so-called "state capture" - have denied any wrongdoing.

Commenting on the state capture inquiry, Ramaphosa said it was critical that the commission had the means and opportunity to effectively fulfil its mandate.

"(He) will have the advantage of being able to hit the ground running and is, at least, known to market participants, ratings agencies and global financial institutions", it said.

The rand fell more than one percent on the report.

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