Tito Mboweni as finance minister: what it means

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The statement said Ramaphosa would address "developments emanating from the recent testimony of Minister of Finance Mr Nhlanhla Nene before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture".

"We are not aware of minister Nene asking to be relieved of his duties", Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said.

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

"Government sources said Nene approached Ramaphosa after the highly negative public reaction to his apology to South Africans on Friday for the meetings with the Gupta family when he served under Zuma", the South African newspaper said.

The public inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is reviewing allegations that three Gupta brothers - Atul, Ajay and Rajesh - unduly influenced former president Jacob Zuma about political appointments and the awarding of state contracts.

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At the graft inquiry, Nene accused Zuma of pushing policies created to benefit the Guptas, including a massive nuclear power expansion programme.

Although Nene has since apologised for lying about meeting the Guptas, he chose to step down from his role. "I deeply regret these lapses and beg your forgiveness".

Other senior government officials who spoke to News24 on Monday said that Nene's decision "was in keeping with his character" and that "it is probably the right thing to do". Many ministers in his cabinet and the previous Zuma cabinets have held meetings with the Guptas, and some have provided favours to the family.

The biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, issued a similar call, saying Nene is likely to be the subject of lengthy investigations and that he risks "compromising public confidence" in the National Treasury.

Until the latest revelations, Mr. Nene was widely seen as a hero of the resistance to corruption.

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He previously served as minister of finance from May 25, 2014, until his controversial removal by former President Jacob Zuma on December 9, 2015.

He also came under pressure to step down after it emerged that his son may have derived financial benefit from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) at a time when he was the organisation's chair.

Nene did not answer calls for comment.

The rand firmed, moments before Mboweni, was announced Finance Minister at a ceremony in Cape Town. He served as labour minister in the cabinet of former president Nelson Mandela in the mid-1990s and was widely praised for his work as the governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2009.

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