Trevor Manuel breaks silence, writes open letter
Manuel has written an open letter to Lindiwe Zulu in response to her comments on the role of business in SA.
CAPE TOWN - Former Finance and Cabinet Minister Trevor Manuel says the decision to dismiss Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and replace him with Des Van Rooyen has led to a complete breakdown in trust, affecting Cabinet, the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africans at large.
Manuel, who served as finance minister from 1996 to 2009, has written an open letter to Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu in response to what he says are 'reckless statements' about the role of business in South Africa.
Last week, the Mail & Guardian reported that Zulu accused business of wanting to topple President Jacob Zuma, but she claims she was quoted out of context.
In a biting open letter, Manuel said Nene's sacking shook the trust of the Cabinet.
LISTEN: Lindiwe Zulu sets the record straight on Jacob Zuma...
He said it can't be correct that an outside hand knows more than Cabinet does about unfolding events.
Manuel said the breach was not the first, but perhaps the last straw that broke the camel's back in the careless handling of a pivotal portfolio.
He has described Nene as thoroughly decent, smart, diligent and more than capable.
Manuel said a few weeks before his removal, Nene demonstrated his mettle when he was prepared to disagree with South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni.
Meanwhile, Zulu says she disagrees with Manuel's view that Nene's removal as finance minister has led to a breakdown in trust.
"Trust between the kinds of groupings that you are talking about can never be broken with one event. Trust is built after a very long time and the ANC has been building that trust."
Zulu says she respects Manuel and will contact him privately so that he can understand where she is coming from.
The minister has reiterated that she did not say business leaders should have rallied behind Zuma's decision to appoint van Rooyen as finance minister.
Van Rooyen's appointment sent shockwaves through the markets.
To read Manuel's open letter, click here.