New Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des van Rooyen says he signed no deals during his short stint as finance minister.

It was the first question put to the former Member of Parliament (MP) during his maiden media briefing yesterday.

Van Rooyen, who says he prefers to be called ‘Des’, rather than David, says he understands why he was demoted to the Cogta portfolio by President Jacob Zuma.

The minister says he wants to focus on the future and not the past.

He went from being an MP, to finance minister and was then shunted to a new portfolio in the course of four days.

Did he sign any deals while he briefly held the country’s purse strings?

“Unfortunately there are no deals that have been signed; if maybe that is what you want to hear.”

Van Rooyen also seems to harbour no ill feelings towards the president for his roller coaster ride through the corridors of power.

“I understand and support the decisions made by President Zuma. As a loyal and disciplined cadre of the beloved movement, the African National Congress, I look forward to serving the South African public.”

The minister says preparations for next year’s local government elections are on track.

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