President Jacob Zuma has shocked the nation after firing Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene just over a year after being appointed to the same position.
“I have decided to remove Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, ahead of his deployment to another strategic position,” said Zuma in a statement.
The reasons for the firing are still sketchy. At the time of publishing it was not yet clear to which portfolio Nene would be deployed.
“I have decided to appoint a Member of Parliament, Mr David Van Rooyen, as the new Minister of Finance,” added Zuma. Nene was fired at a time the country was facing economic headwinds.
Nhlanhla Nene has been replaced with ANC MP David van Rooyen. Haven’t heard of him… anyone heard/worked with him? https://t.co/2VIcEHdHIE
— John Robbie (@702JohnRobbie) December 10, 2015
The firing of Nene has received a massive outcry from members of the public and opposition parties.
— Nqabayomzi Kwankwa (@N_Kwankwa) December 9, 2015
“By Zuma’s own admission, “Nene has done well [–] during a difficult economic climate”, so it makes absolutely no sense for him to be fired,” tweeted Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane.
At this time, our country requires strong economic leadership. Tonight’s decision is the complete opposite.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) December 9, 2015
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Floyd Shivambu also tweeted on Nene firing.
One UK “Emerging Markets Economist” told the SC on Finance that it’ll be “monumentally stupid” to fire Nene at this time. Well I don’t know.
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) December 9, 2015
Some analysts predict that the decision by President Zuma will see the local currency fall by double digit figures.
Nene replaced Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister in May 2014 and was viewed as moderate by many in the economic and finance circles. He had previously served as the deputy finance minister.
In the meantime twar is calling for Zuma’s head with one of the leading top trends #ZumaMustFall.
— TrendieZA – Trends (@TrendieZA) December 10, 2015