President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former central bank Governor Tito Mboweni as his finance minister on Tuesday, replacing Nhlanhla Nene, who lied about his meetings with three businessmen accused of plundering state funds. Watch the full announcement here.
Nene revealed for the first time when he testified before the Commission of inquiry into state capture, that he's had several private meetings with the Guptas at their residence and business premises.
"As a former governor of the Reserve Bank and before that, as Minister of Labour, Mr Mboweni brings with him vast experience in areas of finance, economic policy and governance".
South Africa, Africa's most advanced economy, slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year, and suffers a stubbornly high unemployment of about 28 percent.
After leaving the Reserve Bank, Mboweni went into business, acting as an adviser in South Africa for Goldman Sachs Group and served as chairman of AngloGold Ashanti and on the boards of other companies. Nene did not answer calls for comment.
Nene faced calls to resign after he admitted visiting the Gupta brothers, friends of scandal-plagued former President Jacob Zuma, who have been accused of high-level influence-peddling, and failing to disclose the meetings earlier.
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Earlier on Tuesday, presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa had been engaging with Nene following his testimony at the state capture inquiry.
Mboweni is a member of the ANC's national executive committee, one of the ruling party's highest decision-making bodies.
The alleged breach relates to allegations surrounding a Public Investment Corporation investment in S&S Refinarias‚ reportedly including a $1.7-million "referral fee"‚ which may have benefited the minister's son‚ Siyabonga Nene.
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.
Mr Zuma sacked him as finance minister in 2015, but he was reappointed by the current president in February.