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South Africa finance minister's IMF trip eases fears over his future

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s finance minister is travelling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting, the Treasury said on Tuesday, a statement that may soothe markets a day after a media report that he had asked the president to sack him.

The rand fell more than one percent on Monday when Business Day reported that Nhlanhla Nene had made the request after acknowledging he had visited the Gupta family, friends of former leader Jacob Zuma accused of unfairly winning state contracts.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

Nene, who publicly apologised for not previously reporting the visits to the Gupta brothers, has not made any statements confirming or denying the Business Day report. The president’s spokeswoman told Reuters his office was not aware of any such request from Nene.

Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the finance minister was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday. Nene is due to read the mid-term budget later this month.

(Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira and Ed Stoddard; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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