Minister Zwane tight-lipped on lawsuits

27 July 2017 - 06:48 By Staff reporter and Bloomberg
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

He has been swamped by legal challenges over the past week, but Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is keeping a stony silence.

Yesterday Zwane's office declined to comment on the latest court action - an urgent application by the Chamber of Mines to halt the minister's proposals to "restrict" the granting of new mineral and prospecting rights, freezing mining transactions.

"The minister has not yet received the interdict referred to," said Ayanda Shezi, a spokesman for the Department of Mineral Resources. "A response will be provided once the minister has received it."

The chamber now has three legal processes against Zwane and the Department of Mineral Resources before the courts - seeking to overturn the proposed mining charter and impose a moratorium on it, as well as seeking a declaratory order on empowerment deals.

Also, the civic group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has laid charges of treason, corruption, fraud and theft against Zwane with the police, citing his close connection to the controversial and politically connected Gupta family.