"Public Protector's office considering probing Nene over Gupta Meeting"
The Public Protector of South Africa, has been asked by the Democratic Alliance (D.A), to investigate former Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene after his resignation.
The Democratic Alliance (D.A), which is one of the leading political parties in South Africa, believes that he may have bridged the executive code of ethics. The D.A is already applying even more pressure on already embattled Nene.
A local news source reported that, Nene asked President Ramaphosa to remove him after he admitted to visiting the home of the Guptas (friends of former President Jacob Zuma).
Nene has been considered divisive after the testimony he gave last week, and then inquiries into allegations of corruption by Gupta, in which he admitted to the previously undisclosed visits. Mr. Nene made a public apology about the matter on Friday.
Zuma and the Guptas who have faced numerous allegations of using their friendship for mutual self-enrichment consistently denied any wrongdoing.
It has been gathered from unidentified government sources, that Nene made the request to be removed to Ramaphosa at the weekend. When contacted, Nene did not answer calls for comment.
The public inquiry headed by the Deputy Chief Justice; Justice Raymond Zondo, is reviewing allegations that three Gupta brothers; Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh, unduly influenced Zuma about political appointments and the awarding of government contracts.
The inquiry was set up on the recommendation of 2016 report, entitled "State of Capture", into alleged influence-peddling in Zuma's administration by the Public Protector, South Africa's main anti-corruption authority.
Opposition parties called for Nene's resignation.
Nene is a key ally of President Ramaphosa, who reappointed him Finance Minister in a cabinet reshuffle shortly after becoming president earlier this year.
Ramaphosa's stated commitment to boosting growth and stamping out graft has gone down well with foreign investors, and ANC members. They felt that Zuma's handling of the economy could seriously damage the party in the 2019 national elections.
When asked about the reports that Nene had requested to be relieved from his position, Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan said: " Let's wait and see what happens."
Gordhan, who is a former Finance Minister, and close ally to Ramaphosa, is attending a conference in London.
Nene told the inquiry, he was fired by Zuma in December 2015, for blocking deals that would have benefited the Guptas, particularly, a $100 billion nuclear power deal with Russia that could have crippled Africa's most developed economy; referring to South Africa.
But Nene's opponents say he was involved in corrupt deals with the Guptas when he was Deputy Finance Minister and head of the State Pension Fund. He denied ever helping the Guptas.