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Matter of time before more high-level Gupta dealings exposed, say analysts

Tito Mboweni has taken the reins at National Treasury after Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation in the wake of his damning revelations at the state capture commission of inquiry.

President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on 9 October 2018. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – As the country wakes up to a new Finance Minister, there are warnings that other high profile figures who’ve had links with the controversial Gupta family could be the next ones out.

Tito Mboweni has taken the reins at National Treasury after Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation in the wake of his damning revelations at the state capture commission of inquiry.

There he detailed his previous interaction with the family when he visited their home several times.

Political analyst professor Somadoda Fikeni says that it is only a matter of time before those who have had dealings with the Guptas and remain in Cabinet are exposed at the state capture commission.

“In the medium to long-term they could worry because, one; they’re still to reveal stuff in the state capture commission.”

Some economists have also told Eyewitness News that Mboweni’s appointment bodes well for the stability of public finances at this critical time.

Mboweni is not new to the financial fold and is regarded as credible by financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Economists believe that while Mboweni has previously said that the state must own 40% of mining companies, start a state bank and create a sovereign wealth fund, the markets won’t pay attention to those views as he shared them before he became minister.

But there’s no doubt that he will be closely watched to see if he will deviate from those assertions.

WATCH: Nene out, Mboweni in

POLITICAL PARTIES REACT TO MBOWENI'S APPOINTMENT

Meanwhile, political parties have welcomed the appointment of Mboweni.

They say the appointment is a step in the right direction.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say that the Finance Minister must have high standards of integrity and ethical conduct.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says: “We live in a country where there’s too much corruption, so we must have zero tolerance on those who are corrupt, those who mislead the public and those who are unethical.”

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says Mboweni is the best candidate the African National Congress (ANC) can offer and wishes him well.

“We wish him well. He’s got a tough job in balancing a budget that’s been effectively been highly captured.”

The ANC’s Pule Mabe says that Mboweni brings with him vast experience and will do the job efficiently.

“Signalling a return to government with highly accomplished leader and executive as well as a renowned stalwart of our movement.”

Several civil organisations have also applauded Mboweni’s appointment.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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