JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma has reiterated his claim that former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was earmarked for a post at the Brics Bank.
In a written response to DA MP David Maynier’s question about reasons for Nene’s removal as head of the Treasury, Zuma said: “It is the prerogative of a sitting president to appoint and change members of his/her Cabinet as he deems necessary.”
“It is the same prerogative enshrined in the Constitution that I exercised on December 9, 2015. Decisions to make changes to the Cabinet are made with the best intentions and for the public interest, including the economy.
“I have publicly stated on several occasions that South Africa nominated Mr Nhlanhla Nene for the position of head of the African regional centre of the New Development Bank, also known as the Brics Bank. Processes to make an appointment to that position are under way under the aegis of the New Development Bank in Shanghai, China.”
But four months later, that job at the Brics bank has not materialised and Nene has now taken a new job in the private sector.
Last month the Constitutional Court ruled against Zuma and the National Assembly in the Nkandla matter brought by the EFF and the DA.
DA MP Sej Motau asked Zuma if he knew the exact costs of the case to the state, but Zuma said the Presidency would only be able to ascertain the amount after “due process” was followed.
“The matter was recently finalised by the Constitutional Court,” he wrote.
“The process that is followed in government regarding the payment of legal fees is as follows: Counsel would submit their bills to the State attorney. The State attorney is required to verify the bills and effect payment. Thereafter the bills are submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The Department of Justice invoices the relevant departments for a refund, in this case, the Presidency. The Presidency will only be able to ascertain the amount spent after the above process is concluded.”