FILE PHOTO: Mosebenzi Zwane, South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources, speaks at a media briefing at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance will ask the public protector to investigate Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane for misleading the Free State legislature when he failed to disclose a trip to India paid for by the wealthy, politically connected Gupta family, the party said on Sunday.

"The DA can reveal that minister Mosebenzi Zwane failed to declare his trip to India in October 2012 which is now widely reported to be a Gupta-sponsored jaunt," DA spokesperson James Lorimer said.

The trip was reportedly paid for by the Gupta family after Zwane successfully pushed the Free State government to "gift an obscure Gupta-affiliated company Estina a 4400 hectare farm and R114 million in funding in June 2012", he said.

The DA had scrutinised the declarations of members' interests from the Free State legislature, where Zwane was then an MEC, for all relevant years and could confirm that Zwane made no mention of this expensive gift from the Guptas.

"We will therefore submit a formal complaint to the public protector against the mineral resources minister for misleading the Free State legislature when he failed to disclose this trip to India," Lorimer said.

“[Failing] to declare sponsored foreign travel” and “[executives] using their position or any information entrusted to them to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person” was in breach of section 2 (c) (ii) and section 2 (b) (iv) of the Executive Members Ethics Act.

"The rot of the Guptas’ state capture runs deep in the ANC and even extends to provincial governments. An investigation by the public protector in terms of sections 4 (1) and 3 (1) of the Executive Members Ethics Act must be implemented to hold the minister to account for his role in the capture of our government. The ANC has gone above and beyond to enrich the Guptas while our people remain trapped in poverty," Lorimer said.