Johannesburg - The mineral resources department did not dictate to Gold Fields which people should benefit from a controversial 2010 empowerment deal, Business Times reported on Sunday.
Former deputy director general of the mineral resources department Jacinto Rocha reportedly denied Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele's claim that the department imposed the names on Gold Fields. Ramphele was the former chairwoman of Gold Fields.
“As a department we did nothing wrong,” Rocha said.
“Apart from informing Gold Fields that the 'once empowered, always empowered' principle didn't exist, and that they needed to do another empowerment deal, we never dictated to them on the nature of the deal and who to include.”
The Mail&Guardian previously reported that the deal was hatched in response to a mineral resources department requirement that the company secure an empowerment partner for its South Deep mine. The company was then applying for a new-order licence for the mine.
Part of the R1.2 billion consortium towards this end was Invictus Gold, which reportedly included a number of highly-connected people.
The Mail&Guardian reported that Gold Fields failed to act on the recommendations of a US law firm, appointed by the mining house, that it should report alleged irregularities with the deal to the authorities.
The mining company's board of directors reportedly responded that they had acted within the law in relation to the 2010 black economic empowerment deal. - Sapa