Department of Mineral Resources to approach state capture inquiry

Mosebenzi Zwane. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)
Mosebenzi Zwane. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

The Department of Mineral Resources will approach deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture, and provide evidence if asked to do so.

This is according to the department’s Director General Thabo Mokoena, who spoke to Fin24 on the sidelines of a meeting with Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources on Wednesday.

This comes after the department shut down two of its regional offices and kicked off two internal investigations into functions such as mining licences and mine rehabilitation processes.

During former minister Mosebenzi Zwane's administration over the portfolio, the Gupta-owned Tegeta secured a colliery from Glencore's Optimum mine.

The once-politically connected Gupta family is at the centre of state capture investigations by Zondo’s commission and the portfolio committee, which also hopes to have its own inquiry.

Mokoena told Fin24 that while it got to the bottom of allegations against department officials related to state capture, the department was available to give Zondo evidence of what happened during the Zwane years.

"The position of government is clear on the matter. Anyone that is required to come before the commission and give evidence must come forward and do so. That is the approach that the department is taking in engaging on the matter," said Mokoena.

During the meeting, portfolio committee chair Sahlulele Luzipo told Mokoena that the committee expected an update on all litigation the department has been party to in the past year in November.

He said the committee would also like an update from Minister Gwede Mantashe on internal investigations after members return from recess and complete the budget review and recommendation reports in October.

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