Outa lays charges of high treason against Zwane
Charges of high treason‚ extortion‚ corruption‚ fraud and theft have been laid against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).
The charges are contained in an explosive 51-page affidavit compiled by Outa. The civic rights organisation laid the criminal charges at Randburg Police Station earlier on Monday.
The charges relate to Zwane's alleged role in helping the embattled Gupta family‚ to among other things‚ acquire the Optimum Coal Mine and allegedly steal money from the Free State Vrede Dairy Farm to fund their niece's Sun City wedding.
They also relate to him abusing his position of power as minister to the benefit of the Gupta family and their associates in the landing of their wedding guests at Air Force Base Waterkloof in April 2013.
Zwane‚ who has been charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act‚ is among the first of the known Gupta allies to have had criminal charges levelled against them.
If he is convicted he could face at least 25-years direct imprisonment.
The affidavit‚ which is deposed by Outa's chief operating officer Ben Theron‚ reveals the alleged extensive role Zwane played in helping to enrich the Guptas.
Theron in his affidavit says Zwane allegedly committed fraud by “unlawfully and intentionally” making misrepresentations knowing that it was false.
He claims that Zwane also allegedly committed theft and that he is allegedly unlawfully tried to exert pressure on certain individuals to induce the handover of advantages to the Gupta family.
Outa recently also laid treason charges charges against former communications minister Faith Muthabi.
The organisation alleged that Muthambi‚ now the Minister of Public Service and Administration‚ is involved in state capture and has been “captured” by the Guptas. Her transgressions are so serious that this merits treason charges‚ it stated.
“In 2015‚ the Western Cape High Court found that Muthambi acted irrationally and unlawfully in her appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief Operating Officer of the SABC because of the Public Protector’s findings against him of abuses of power‚ fraud and maladministration. Muthambi’s abuse of power led to the SABC’s current financial crisis‚ plunging it into billions of rand in debt‚” Outa said.
More details to follow.