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Nene ‘still surprised’ by SA’s reaction to his sacking

The former finance minister was fired by President Jacob Zuma in December - and replaced twice.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says he is still surprised by the immense reaction to his removal from office by President Jacob Zuma last year.

Nene was fired in December in a move that sent the rand crashing and created fears that the economy could be downgraded to junk status.

Des Van Rooyen, who is now Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, was appointed to replace Nene, but only spent a few days in office before being moved to the department he's now in.

Pravin Gordhan was then reappointed to the post.

Zuma has said he fired Nene because he wanted to appoint him to the Brics Bank, but the appointment has not yet occurred.

Nene says he was surprised by how big the reaction was.

"I thought it would be short-lived and that we would be able to move on with life as a country and focus on what builds this country. I was overwhelmed by the kind of reaction."

Investment management firm Allan Gray earlier this week announced it had appointed Nene as a non-executive director.

Yesterday, the African National Congress (ANC)'s economic and transformation committee said it still needed to discuss the manner in which Nene was fired from his government position.

LISTEN: ANC economics and transformation committee on Nene's new job

The committee said it had no problem with sharing its members' skills with the private sector.

Enoch Godongwana, who heads the committee, said Nene's talents would be missed.

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