Cape Town - EFF dismissed Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane’s reasons for failing to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources as “petty”.
Zwane was expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday to give responses on outstanding questions from MPs.
EFF MP Thembinkosi said: “We must put on record that the reasons that have been forwarded from the EFF, we don’t accept them and they give an indication that there’s no appetite from the minister to respond to those. We therefore take a route where, every clarity that we want we will ask them in an inquiry. This committee should proceed to such an inquiry which will afford us opportunity to ask every question we
In a letter read out to the committee, Zwane told the committee that he could not make it to the committee as he was scheduled to attend a sitting of the National Council of Provinces.
Angered Committee Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said he had checked with the programme of the NCOP, in which he discovered that there was no scheduled meeting for Wednesday, of which Zwane said he would be attending.
Luzipho also read a letter in which he communicated to Zwane that there was no sitting scheduled for NCOP.
This is the third time Zwane failed to appear before the committee on agreed dates.
In November, he had promised to appear before Members of Parliament, however he failed to do so owing to an alleged illness.
On January 14, Zwane was again invited to appear before the committee but failed to appear, reasoning that he had to write an exam.
Some MPs wanted Zwane to be subpoenaed to appear before the committee as early as next week.
DA MP said: “This is totally unacceptable. It seems the minister is dodging appearing before this committee. He has appeared to answer one round of questions which I found very evasive. Its unacceptable that he does this, when we want him back, he needs to be subpoenaed to appear before this committee”.
The Committee has however resolved that a full-scale inquiry into allegations of state capture that have been levelled against Zwane be initiated.
“The Committee could no longer entertain further postponements from the Minister and took a decision to institute an inquiry. Members had outstanding questions from the initial Q&A session and they now reserve their right to ask them during the inquiry,” said Luzipo
Luzipo said during the inquiry, the committee will also touch on the Estina dairy farm.
Free State Premier Ace Magashule and Zwane, who is the province’s former agriculture MEC, have both been linked to a scheme to unlawfully enrich the Guptas through the farm.