Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s relationship with the Guptas was unofficial, unethical and illegal. He cost the country about R1.9 billion in the loss of money from the Vrede dairy project and two mine rehabilitation funds, all of which went to the Guptas.
Zwane’s rewards from the Guptas included all-expenses-paid trips to their family weddings in Sun City and India, a Dubai trip, and an all-expenses paid trip to India for himself and his local gospel choir. This is the third action arising from OUTA’s report on state capture, “No room to hide: A President caught in the act”, which was handed to Parliament on 28 June 2017.
WHAT OUTA IS DOING: TREASON CHARGES
On 24 July 2017, OUTA laid charges of treason, corruption, extortion, fraud and theft against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane at the Randburg police station. See more on this here.
WHY IS THIS TREASON?
The treason charge arises because the Constitution makes it clear that ministers may not undertake any other paid work, may not act in any way that is inconsistent with their office or risk any conflict between official responsibilities and private interests, or use their positions to enrich themselves or others; they promise to uphold the Constitution in the oath of office.
In September 2022, Zwane finally appeared in court on charges. See more here.
WHAT OUTA IS DOING: COMPLAINT TO PARLIAMENT
On 25 October 2017, OUTA filed a complaint about Zwane's activities to Parliament's Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests.
More than five years later the committee finally dealt with this complaint and, on 8 March 2023, tabled its report on the matter in Parliament. The committee's statement is here and the report is here.
The committee found that Zwane had failed to disclose registerable interests, that he took benefits from the Guptas, that he issued a media statement that brought Parliament into disrepute, that he did not discharge his obligations in terms of the Constitution, that he breached the Members' code of conduct by appointing advisors who were business associates of the Guptas, and that he failed to act in accordance with the public trust placed in him. The committee recommended that Zwane be fined five days' salary, that he apologise to the House for the media statement he had made and for the appointment of his advisors, and that he be suspended from his seat in parliamentary debates for one parliamentary term.
The committee's report was tabled in Parliament on 2 May 2023.