Rand drops as South Africa’s finance minister asks Ramaphosa to remove him

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Following the acceptance of Nene's resignation, President Ramaphosa appointed Tito Mboweni as the new Finance Minister of South Africa. Watch the full announcement here.

"These visits do cast a shadow on my conduct as a public office bearer", Nene said in a statement.

During his tenure as Minister of Finance, Mr Nene served the people and government of South Africa with diligence and ability.

The rand gained 0.9% to R14.72/$ by 5.25pm in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4%. He became the first black governor of the SA Reserve Bank in August 1999 and served for just more than 10 years until November 2009.

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There has been mixed reaction to Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene's confession around private meetings with the Gupta family at the compound in Saxonwold.

"South Africa is undergoing serious economic difficulties and massive job losses, and one of the ingredients towards economic recovery is a credible Minister of Finance", said Julius Malema, head of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.

Nene faced calls to resign after he admitted to visiting the Gupta brothers, friends of the former president Jacob Zuma who have been accused of high-level influence-peddling, and failing to disclose the meetings earlier.

It said the issue was likely to be raised at a meeting of the ruling African National Congress party later on Monday.

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The ANC forced Zuma to quit as president in February, clearing the way for his 65-year-old deputy and party leader Ramaphosa to take over. Ramaphosa's spokeswoman Khusela Diko did not respond to phone calls.

With government debt at already dangerously high levels and the country at risk of losing its sole remaining investment-grade credit rating from Moody's Investors Service, Mboweni will have little option but to stick to the National Treasury's expenditure ceilings and deficit-reduction targets.

Asked repeatedly at a media event in Cape Town whether Nene still enjoyed his confidence and what the future might hold for the finance minister, President Ramaphosa made light of the questions and pretended there was something wrong with his hearing.

Ramaphosa has made clean governance and the kick-starting of an economy mired in recession top priorities.

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