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Radebe: Cabinet not informed of Nene’s sacking ahead of time

Jeff Radebe says the appointment and removal of Cabinet ministers is the prerogative of the president.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has confirmed that Cabinet was not informed of President Jacob Zuma's decision to fire former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Radebe made the comment at the post-Cabinet media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

The announcement on Wednesday night sent shockwaves through the country and rocked the markets with the rand dipping to all-time lows against major currencies.

Backbencher David van Rooyen was sworn in as the new finance minister on Thursday.

LISTEN: Who is David van Rooyen?

Radebe confirmed that both the president and Nene attended the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Hours later, the minister was without a job.

"Speaking for myself, I don't think Cabinet had any idea that there was going to be a reshuffle."

He says the former finance minister gave cabinet a detailed briefing on the economy including the recent ratings downgrades, just hours before he was fired.

Minister Radebe says the economy was on the agenda in the last cabinet meeting.

"Cabinet did discuss the issue of the economy on Wednesday, including the report of the downgrade by Fitch and Standard & Poor."

He says former Minister Nene briefed cabinet.

"The former minister gave an extensive presentation on these matters, but it was not concluded because there is a special meeting that is going to be convened on Tuesday."

Radebe says President Zuma did not inform cabinet of the reshuffle.

He declined to comment on the possibility of more reshuffles.

"The issue of appointment and removal of Cabinet ministers is the prerogative of the president."

Meanwhile, van Rooyen is scheduled to host his first meeting with his team today.

LISTEN: Black Like Me founder Herman Mashaba comments on the sacking of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene