President Ramaphosa briefs Cosatu on Nhlanhla Nene

File photo of Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene and President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Swearing-in ceremony of the new Deputy President, Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as Members of the National Executive on February 27, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
File photo of Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene and President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Swearing-in ceremony of the new Deputy President, Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as Members of the National Executive on February 27, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has confirmed to SowetanLIVE that President Cyril Ramaphosa has consulted it regarding finance minister Nhlanhla Nene's future.

"Yes, we can confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa did consult Cosatu about this issue. We took a decision yesterday to say that Nene should go," said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

"The general secretary was entrusted with the responsibility to talk to the president that he [Nene] should go after our CEC [central executive committee] meeting yesterday."

He told SowetanLIVE that the CEC was of the view that Nene should not be treated with kid gloves.

"Nene needs to go [and] can we move away from this thing of having personalities who cannot be charged because the markets or the currencies will react negatively?"

Pamla said that if the minister of women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini was wrong in "messing up" the South African Social Security Agency, then Nene is "wrong to be in charge of our National Treasury."

"This is not just an innocent lie, these lies are problematic. The commission is investigating the Guptas and state capture and if he didn't think something like that was important enough that you don’t lie about it, then how do we trust [him] with the keys to the economy? So he needs to go," said Pamla.

Cosatu has previously come out strongly against former president Jacob Zuma's failure to consult the tripartite alliance partners before taking any decisions in government.

Zuma found himself on the wrong side of the alliance partners after defying their plea to consult, which resulted in him being banned from both Cosatu and the South African Communist Party events.

During Cosatu's national congress last month, the federation gave Ramaphosa a stern warning to consult the alliance on reshuffles in the three spheres of government - municipal, provincial and national - as well as when it implements policies that affect service delivery.

Cosatu said failing this, it would consider supporting the SACP should the party decide to contest the 2019 general elections.

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