Former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana has joined President Jacob Zumas ruling party in Parliament. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party on Sunday came to defence of newly appointed Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana following reports that he was under paying his cattle header.

“Comrade Zokwana is a mine worker who is not paid an executive’s salary,” general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Sunday.

“Its only now that he has become a minister.”

The City Press reported on Sunday that Zokwana who is also SACP National Chairman paid his cattle header R800 a month and he had to work every day of the week.

The man who is said to be from Lesotho stayed in a shack.

Nzimande said Zokwana was happy with his new position as it would afford him the opportunity to pay the cattle header more.

Deputy chairman and Public Works minister Thulas Nxesi said the reporting was very petty.

“Its a way of demonising comrade Zokwana because he has only been appointed a minister just last week,” said Nxesi.

He asked if the report was based on research or a survey conducted on the wages in the rural homesteads.

“It (reporting) has a political agenda of its own,” he added.