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Critics discard Zuma's explanation for axing Nene

Analysts and economists have described Jacob Zuma's explanation to axe Nene as desperate & disingenuous.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma's explanation for firing Nhlanhla Nene as the finance minister has been described as desperate, disingenuous and scraping the bottom of the barrel for an excuse to quell public outcry.

Zuma broke his silence on the announcement to replace Nene with Member of Parliament David van Rooyen in a statement saying the change does not signal a shift in the government's fiscal position.

The president explained Nene's axing as a move to send him to Shanghai as the country's nomination for the head of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS bank.

Political analysts and economists have slammed Zuma's explanation saying it's too little too late.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says he is being disingenuous and is firing the person who has been upholding fiscal prudence in the country.

"It's beyond contradictory, for me it's desperate and it's a president who is scarping the bottom of the barrel for a satisfactory explanation and trying to fend off the fire."

Business Day editor Peter Bruce says Zuma is out of his depth and has made the worst decision he could have made in his Presidency.

"This is the beginning of the undoing, he is making the country much poorer."

The decision sent the rand to new record lows and shares plummeting on the JSE in what has been called the first locally generated panic since 1996.

LISTEN: Jeff Radebe confirms Cabinet knew nothing about reshuffling.