Editorials 6.10.2018 09:20 am

It may be too little, too late for Nene

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene addresses the audience during the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) conference on March 05, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo by Gallo Images

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene addresses the audience during the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) conference on March 05, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo by Gallo Images

The heat intensified yesterday for a man formerly considered above reproach.

Sometimes saying sorry is not enough. In this day and age it is rare for a politician to apologise. However, yesterday Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said he was sorry for not revealing he met with the Guptas at their Saxonwold compound between 2010 to 2014 when he was deputy minister and minister of finance.

“I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness,” Nene said. “As soon as I became aware of the controversy swirling around the family’s business dealings, I should, subject to there being a legitimate reason for doing so, have met the Guptas, at my office accompanied, as is customary, by a department of finance or National Treasury official.”

Good for him, but is that enough?

The heat intensified yesterday. The Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane in a report questioned Nene’s involvement with his son’s business dealings in relation to an investment by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in Mozambique.

It has emerged that a business partner of his son scored millions of rands in the deal.

Nene was chairperson of the PIC in 2014.

Nene’s conduct as a public office bearer that is beyond reproach is in doubt.

It’s time for Nene to put his money where his mouth is and reveal all or resign.

Only once politicians have been held accountable for their actions will we be able to start making inroads in the fight against corruption.

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