Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. File picture: Kopano Tlape (GCIS)

Parliament - Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane on Thursday shrugged off questions about his nomination as chairman of the parliamentary committee on transport.

Zwane told interviewers at Parliament, ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's State Of The Nation Address, that those from the Zuma administration who were this week tipped to lead key portfolio committees should be given a chance to get on with the job - despite questions over their past records.

"My wish is, do your work, be transparent," he said, adding that they deserved to be scrutinised but also to be congratulated "when we do well".

The ruling party raised eyebrows on Tuesday by naming controversial figures from the Zuma era, including former communications minister Faith Muthambi, to chair oversight committees.

She will head the committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, despite a track record that includes appointing and shielding former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who is widely viewed as having run the public broadcaster into the ground.

Zwane, who was implicated in the state capture scandal that engulfed the previous government, said he still spoke to former president Jacob Zuma but did not think it his place to encourage him to testify before the Zondo commission of inquiry probing the scandal.

"I do talk to the former president but I don't get involved in his decision making, it is him who is called and it is up to him whether he goes or has his reasons not to testify."

African News Agency/ANA