Congress of the People felt incensed when President Zuma fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. It was a grossly irresponsible act on the part of the President. More than that, everyone knew from the very outset that SAA chair Dudu Myeni had some role to play in the firm and principled Nene’s dismissal. It is to Nene’s credit that he acted on his conscience and lived up to the high expectations of the nation. He was not going… to be pressured either by Dudu Myeni or the president for that matter.
Nene sought to protect the fiscus against the fancy flights of Dudu Myeni and of President Zuma who wanted SAA to fly to Khartoum.
It is astonishing that the cabinet did not weigh in on Nene’s side knowing the numbers as they did. The cabinet by indulging President Zuma put South Africa into a very tight spot with no room to wiggle. President Zuma had no doubt that replacing Nene would allow Dudu Myeni to get her way on the Airbus deal and allow him to pander to Bashir by getting SAA to fly to Khartoum at a massive loss.
Has the cabinet neither backbone nor any understanding of macroeconomics. Why did they not back up Nene on his decision and make his decision their own? Was hanging onto their high paying jobs all that mattered to them?
The story by Mail & Guardian revealing why Nene was really fired reveals how President Zuma was close to capturing the Treasury. Nene stood resolutely in his way. Our admiration for Nene continues to grow. He is the only ruling party politician to come out of the mess with considerable credit.
President Zuma has further damaged the rand and created difficulty for everyone. The longer he stays, the greater the damage he will inflict on South Africa. Where Mandela had lifted South Africa to the very pinnacle of esteem, Zuma is pulling it down into the very pits.
Issued by Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson