Mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane has joined president Jacob Zuma and co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen in launching an urgent application to block the Public Protector’s report into state capture from being published.
According to a statement from the department of mineral resources, a letter from the Public Protector shows that he has been implicated in the matter, leaving him no choice but to get involved.
Zwane said that he was not afforded an opportunity to answer allegations levelled against him (contained in the letter he received from the Public Protector).
He also raised concerns that the report was hastily prepared without due regard to his constitutional rights.
The application comes the same day as co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen’s second application for the same reasons.
Van Rooyen withdrew his initial application for an interdict, after he was assured that he was not implicated in the report. However, weekend reports broke news that implicated the minister in event core the report, which ‘spooked’ him into applying for an interdict yet again.
Both Zwane and van Rooyen’s applications follow the exact same move from the president, who is also an implicated person in the matter.
It has been alleged that the Gupta family has used its personal relationship with president Jacob Zuma to manipulate government appointments and unduly benefit from government contracts.
These allegations include ‘placing’ van Rooyen and Gupta-aligned advisors in the National Treasury after former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was unexpectedly fired in December 2015 – as well as getting help from Zwane in securing the purchase of Optimum coal mines earlier this year.