Former finance minister Trevor Manuel penned an open letter to Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu expressing his concerns over the removal of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene from his position.
President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene from as finance minister, five days after the latest downgrade to the country’s credit rating.
“I have decided to remove Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, ahead of his deployment to another strategic position,” the president said in a statement.
This move shocked the country, including Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe who told reporters Cabinet was in the dark regarding Nene’s removal.
In his letter published in the City Press, Manuel explains that “the saga of dismissing a competent minister and replacing him without warning or explanation led to a complete breakdown in trust”.
“Having worked closely with Comrade Nene over a long period, I can confirm he is thoroughly decent, smart, diligent and more than capable. I have not heard any commentator interested in the economic management of South Africa raise any doubts about his leadership.”
Manuel says the haste in Nene’s removal calls for concern: “the suggestion by the president that Mr Nene was destined for some undefined post in the New Development Bank just does not wash. In fact, that assignment is unlikely to be even 15% of the size of that which he so ably performed as minister of finance”.
He further expresses concern over Gaddafi Rabotapi, a nonmember of Cabinet, who knew about Nene’s removal for more than a month, when Cabinet was kept in the dark.
Read full letter below: