Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says when he refused to sign off on the deal, worried about the financial implications, he was accused of insubordination.
FILE: A video screengrab shows Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene giving testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry on 3 October 2018. Picture: SABC Digital News/youtube.com.
JOHANNESBURG – Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has told the state capture commission that then-President Jacob Zuma was so determined to proceed with the nuclear build programme that he showed disregard and no appreciation for the financial implications for the country.
Nene told the commission on Wednesday that he believed he was fired by Zuma in 2015 because he refused to toe the line in relation to certain projects that may have benefited the Gupta family.
Nene says Zuma put pressure on him to conclude the nuclear deal.
“I don’t think the former president [Zuma] appreciated the financial implication because nothing had been presented. But I felt that the issues of financial implications were secondary to him.”
He says when he refused to sign off on the deal, worried about the financial implications, he was accused of insubordination, even by his colleagues – former ministers Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and David Mahlobo.
“They felt that it was not right that the issues on the nuclear deal had not been finalised. It was clear that I was seen as the person standing in the way of the nuclear deal.”
He says there was no consideration whatsoever by the then president and former Energy Minister Tina Joemat Pettersson on the fiscal implications of the nuclear deal.
He went on to tell the commission that his refusal to sign off on the deal led to Zuma firing him during a meeting that lasted less than three minutes.
WATCH: #StateCaptureInquiry: Nene’s testimony in 3 minutes
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)