Zwane wants more time to respond to 'state capture' claims

2016-11-01 16:45
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. (Mining Indaba)

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. (Mining Indaba)

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Cape Town – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was given 24 hours to respond to allegations against him during former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's "state capture" probe, he has claimed. 

On Monday, he launched an urgent application to interdict the release of Madonsela's report, saying he had not been afforded the opportunity to state his case.

In his application, he said some of the claims about him had come from media reports.

These included that he was "plucked from obscurity" to become mineral resources minister, and that he was a central figure in the controversial R570m Estina dairy outside Vrede, a project driven by associates of the politically-connected Gupta family.

According to other allegations:

- He was instrumental in letting the Gupta family land a chartered plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base. It was carrying guests from India who had been invited to a Gupta family wedding at Sun City in May 2013;

- He travelled to Switzerland to facilitate the sale of Glencore PLC's Optimum coal mine to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a Gupta-owned company; and 

- He expedited the process of granting Tegeta approval in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. 

'Gupta minister'

In his affidavit, Zwane said, although the allegations against him were serious, he was given only 24 hours to respond, so that Madonsela could complete her investigation and issue her report.

He asked for seven days to formulate a response.

On Tuesday, he appeared in the National Assembly to discuss the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu referred to Zwane as a "Gupta minister" and said he should not be allowed to address the House.

"The matter is sub judice, so he should not be here," Shivambu said.

Zwane was allowed to speak.

Read more on:    public protector  |  mosebenzi zwane  |  politics  |  state capture report

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