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Nhlanhla Musa Nene

Deputy Minister of Finance
Assumed office 
November 2008
Preceded by Jabu Moleketi

Chairperson, Finance Portfolio Committee, Parliament
In office
2005 – November 2008
Preceded by Barbara Hogan

Born 5 December 1958(1958-12-05)
Political party African National Congress

Nhlanhla Musa Nene (born 5 December 1958) has been the deputy minister of finance in the Cabinet of South Africa[1] since November 2008. He previously was the Chair of the the South African Finance Portfolio Committee.[2] He has been an ANC member of parliament since he 1999.[3] His home is in Kranskop, KwaZulu-Natal.


Political career

As a new Member of Parliament, Nene served on the finance committee, which Barbara Hogan chaired between 1999 to 2004. He has said he had a great deal of respect for her and her "no nonsense" ways.[4]

Nene held the Chair of the Joint Budget Committee and is currently a member of the ANC Regional Executive Committee for the Bambatha region. Previously he has held the position of ANC Secretary for the Bambatha region.[5] As chairman of the portfolio finance committee, he has said that it is "not proper" for parliament to be involved in process of drafting the budget, adding "Parliament has an oversight responsibility with regard to the budget so [our effectiveness] depends on how well we use the parliamentary process."[6] In 2008 when Parliament passed legislation that would give them more control over budgeting, Nene expressed concern, stressing that "utmost care should be taken that parliament does not undermine macroeconomic stability."[7]

Earlier, he had been mentioned as a possible successor to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in a possible Jacob Zuma-led ANC administration in 2009.[8] In November 2008 President Kgalema Motlanthe appointed Nene as South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Finance. Nene replaced Jabu Moleketi, who resigned after the recall of president Thabo Mbeki.

2008 Chair mishap

In 2008 he became an online hit after a 26-second clip of him falling from a chair was posted on the video website Youtube. The chair malfunction occurred while Mr Nene was answering questions concerning Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's mini-budget on the programme View from the House. On the video, the chair cracks audibly, causing Nene to wince, though he kept speaking. Twelve seconds after the cracking sound the chair failed catastrophically, causing Nene to fall backwards, his hands grabbing at the desk as the chair collapsed beneath him.[9] Presenter Hayde Fitzpatrick managed to keep stone faced as the camera switched quickly to her.[10] The program then went to a commercial break while produces ascertained Nene's condition. He was unharmed and the interview continued, with Nene in a different chair, once the show resumed.[11][12]

The incident led to an apology from the South African Broadcasting Corporation after the clip was leaked onto the internet and they are conducting an investigation into who leaked the video.[13] SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago called the event "unforeseeable and an accident," adding that "Mr. Nene must be applauded for being a true professional. He carried on with the interview after a short ad break."[12] The clip has subsequently had over 25000 views. The video was viewed 498,000 times on October 27, 2008.[14] It has since been posted to a number of other viral video websites and social networking websites and has been the subject of discussions on various radio programs.[15]

Though Nene has said that the incident would not be good for his public image [13][12] he later joked about it, stating that he had asked colleagues not to refer to his job title of Chair of the Committee whilst in his company.[9] One colleague quipped that perhaps Nene should give up his chairmanship of the portfolio finance committee to lead a standing committee instead.[8] The story has been covered by the BBC and the Telegraph and Nene's office has been swamped by media requests since the incident. In response to the global media coverage, Nene stated he no longer wished to talk about the matter. He has denied that his weight was responsible for the chair's failure, saying "I know I am heavy but I sit on these chairs all the time. It can‘t be my weight."[13] He indicates that his children have been teased about the incident at school by classmates. He has reportedly sought legal advice concerning his rights and options regarding the way the video was leaked.[14]


  1. ^ News24(3)
  2. ^ Portfolio Committee on Finance. Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. Accessed Oct. 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Mr Nene Nhlanhla Musa. Members of Parliament. Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. Accessed Oct. 30, 2008.
  4. ^ Ntando Makhubu. "Hogan's appointment as health minister welcomed." Dispatch Online. Sept. 29,2008.
  5. ^ ANC Member in Parliament ANC Parliamentary Caucus. Accessed Oct. 30, 2008.
  6. ^ Prakash Naidoo. "Budget Process: Do we have enough say?". Financial Mail. Feb. 23, 2007.
  7. ^ "SA Parliament to get more budget change power". Reuters. Oct. 24, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Donwald Pressly. "Songs and pratfalls demonstrate fickleness of rand." Business Report. Oct. 27, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Video: South African MP's chair collapses in interview". TimesOnline. Oct. 23, 2008.
  10. ^ Gabisile Ndebele. "Who leaked the funniest TV episode ever?" The Times. Oct. 23, 2008.
  11. ^ Jenni O'Grady. "Finance chair plummets with a rand". IOL. Oct. 24, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c Cecil Motsepe. "Weighty issue takes a break under the table". Sowetan. Oct. 23, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c "Being butt of jokes after fall now a weighter matter for Nene". The Herald Online. Accessed Oct. 30, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Sally Evans. "Nene's TV chair joke falls flat". The Times. Oct. 28, 2008.
  15. ^ "World cracks up over SA chairperson". Dispatch Online. Oct. 24, 2008.

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