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Zuma's decision to appoint Mosebenzi Zwane as mineral resources minister was 'likely influenced by the Guptas'

'It is safe to say Zwane was a Gupta minister' - Zondo report

29 April 2022 - 11:40
Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane testifies at the state capture commission. File photo.
Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane testifies at the state capture commission. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Former president Jacob Zuma's decision to replace Ngoako Ramatlhodi with Mosebenzi Zwane as mineral resources minister was, on the probabilities, influenced by the Guptas.

That is the view expressed in the latest chapter of the state capture report published on Friday.

“Zwane had co-operated with the Guptas while serving as MEC in the Free State provincial government, where his departments [namely the department of agriculture and, later, the department of human settlements] had performed very poorly, and he was brought specially into the National Assembly so that President Zuma could appoint him as minister of mineral resources,” reads the report.

“There can be no explanation why President Zuma overlooked so many able and competent ANC MPs and brought Mr Zwane from outside parliament so that he could appoint him to the position of minister of mineral resources.

“Mr Zwane had no previous experience of being a MP, he had no prior exposure or experience in mining or mineral resources and had never been a minister before.

“His record as an MEC in the Free State provincial government was dismal and there is no way that President Zuma would have chosen him because he thought he would do a better job as minister of mineral resources than Mr Ngoako Ramatlhodi or than any other ANC member of the National Assembly that he could have appointed.”

According to the report, Zwane also acted as a middleman between representatives of Glencore and the Gupta-linked Optimum Coal Mine (OCM).

“Mr Zwane is implicated herein due to his conduct when he was the chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee established to investigate the closure of Gupta bank accounts,” states the report. 

In 2015 Zwane travelled to Switzerland, where he met with the Ivan Glasenberg, former CEO of Glencore, and where he introduced Salim Essa as his adviser “when this was not true and the only reason why he did so is that he sought to assist the Guptas to conclude a deal with Glencore with regard to their acquisition of OCM”, reads the report. 

“As minister of the department of mineral resources, Mr Zwane was assisted by the Guptas and their associates in preparing his media statements and responses to questions raised by journalists. Those who assisted him include Mr Tony Gupta, Mr Howa, D Zuma and the Gupta-hired PR firm, Bell Pottinger

“In the light of the above, it can safely be concluded that Mr Zwane was a Gupta minister in the sense that he must have been appointed at their instance or request or with their blessing.”

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