Johannesburg - The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has decided to institute a full-scale inquiry into allegations of state capture that have been levelled against the Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane.
The decision was taken on Wednesday following a committee meeting where Zwane failed to appear.
Political parties spent time debating whether or not Zwane should be summoned to appear before the committee.
Allegations of corruption and state capture involvement have been mounting against Zwane.
The latest has been his involvement in the Vrede Dairy Farm project where millions of rand meant to uplift underprivileged farmers was milked by the Gupta family.
Last week six people appeared in a Free State court on fraud and corruption charges related to the project.
Zwane apparently gave the go-ahead for the project when he was the Free State MEC for Agriculture.
The minister has also been accused of assisting the Gupta family purchase a coal mine.
Committee Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo was upset about Zwane's no show and said the committee had had enough of the delays.
“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.
The minister's last appearance was last October where he was invited to return as he did not answer all the committee's questions sufficiently.
At that appearance, Zwane insisted that he was not "captured" and questioned why MPs wanted to know about meeting he had with the Gupta family.
"Why is this portfolio committee just interested in my meeting with just one family? I have said it before I meet many people and in Dubai, I also met some interesting businesspeople, including businesspeople in South Africa in the diamond industry and I've already said to one of them, come and let's talk," Zwane said at the hearing.
"I am not part of that problem. I am honestly telling this portfolio committee, if there's a need to meet them, I'll meet them publicly, anywhere."
Political Bureau and IOL