COSY: Ajay Gupta with Helen Zille at Newlands cricket stadium

Eish. What a sad week for government and for South Africa it has been.

So much optimism over a new dawn - following the dark days of Jacob Zuma - went out the window with the resignation of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

This after it emerged at the State Capture Inquiry that Nene was a regular at Saxonwold, where he visited the Guptas at least six times during his previous stint as minister.

“Trustworthy” Nene... one of the supposed good guys of SA politics, who had been handpicked by Cyril Ramaphosa for his new cabinet.

The one who Zuma had previously fired for blocking the controversial Russian nuclear deal.

Yep, turns out Nene had been making himself comfortable on the billionaire family’s couch, sipping tea and discussing wouldn’t-we-like-to-know-what.

Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: PHANDO JIKELO/ANA

Ai... are there really no honest politicians around?

Before the announcement of his shock resignation on Tuesday, Nene wrote a letter, apologising to South Africans for his interactions with the Guptas, saying part of his duty as an office bearer was to meet stakeholders when they requested.

“However, I was wrong in meeting the Guptas at their residence and not in my office or at least a public place,” he said.

This made no sense to Munier.

Nene apologised and fell on his sword for hanging out with the Guptas - at their house?

WHAT CRIME?: Nhlanhla Nene. Photo: ITUMELENG ENGLISH/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA

What’s the crime in that? Being birds of a feather, peas in a pod?

If simply being in the presence of the Guptas means a blight on one’s reputation, then the whole of government needs to pack their bags ASAP.

After all, these Guptas have been around for over two decades, worming their way in and cosying up to every department head and easily-bought politician.

Hell, they even got in with Helen Zille when she was mayor of Cape Town and leader of the DA.

At the time, the party was looking for funding and approached Sahara Computers - one of the Guptas’ companies.

And Zille personally stopped by at Saxonwold on three occasions in 2009/10 to collect a couple of cheques.

The Western Cape Premier was also spotted hobnobbing lekker with Ajay Gupta at Newlands Cricket Ground - which at the time was called Sahara Park nogal - watching Indian Premier League cricket action. Too cute.

The DA argued that there was nothing wrong with Zille klopping aan by big business for funding.

But as soon as they learned about the dodgy Zuma-Gupta link, they apparently stopped accepting their money.

So should Zille be branded corrupt and summarily dismissed?

Former president Jacob Zuma with Atul Gupta, left, and Minister Malusi Gigaba, right

Not necessarily. See, if we were to round up and sack every single official who ever had a cup of milky tea with the Guptas, there’d be no one left in Parliament, or in the boardrooms at the state-owned enterprises.

It’s not enough to show association with the Guptas.

There must be proof of a corrupt relationship, i.e. the Guptas buying influence in government.

There must be a crime - so what was Nene’s crime? Just visiting?

Come now...

Ramaphosa was quick to praise Nene for doing the honourable thing by stepping down for the sake of the country.

Well, what the country really needs is for Nene to come clean about what he and the Guptas discussed during those Saxonwold sessions.

What kind of deals were done?

And another thing the nation expects from the Zondo commission: if these dik dinge are found guilty of state capture and corruption, they must be criminally prosecuted and forced to pay back the money.

All R100 billion of it!

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