National 5.9.2016 05:53 pm

Calls mount for Minerals Minister Zwane to be disciplined

Minister of Mineral Affairs Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane at the Africa Mining Indaba on February 8, 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Business Day / Trevor Samson)

Minister of Mineral Affairs Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane at the Africa Mining Indaba on February 8, 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Business Day / Trevor Samson)

Cosatu has slammed the minister for misrepresenting Cabinet and displaying ‘self-arrogance’.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Monday added its voice to calls for President Jacob Zuma to institute disciplinary measures against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane after his announcement that a judicial inquiry in South Africa’s banks would be instituted.

Cosatu said Zwane’s statement, which suggested that his stance had in fact been endorsed by Cabinet, had misrepresented the government and displayed “self arrogance”.

“The Congress of South African Trade Unions is calling on the President Jacob Zuma to discipline the Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane following his decision to publicly present his personal views on the Oakbay Investment versus banks matter as a Cabinet decision. The minister misrepresented the Cabinet when he said that it took a decision to ask the president to consider establishing a judicial inquiry, with regard to matter between the company and the banks,” the trade union federation said in a statement.

“This supreme political arrogance and self exaltation by the minister has not only undermined the cabinet, but raises question on who calls the shots and whether the centre is still holding in government. The president needs to act swiftly against the minister and send a clear message that our government is not in disarray, but it’s still intact.”

Political parties have called for Zwane’s head after the Presidency and Cabinet distanced themselves from his statement last week. The SA Communist Party (SACP), the African Christian Democratic Party and the ruling African National Congress have all called for action against Zwane, with the ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa labelling Zwane’s statement which he issued as chairman of a inter-ministerial committee as “appalling and reckless”.

The committee was established to probe the shutting down of bank accounts belonging to the controversial Gupta family’s businesses.

Cosatu said Zwane’s statement would exacerbate the withholding of investments into the country’s economy.

“This also plays into the hands of those companies who have been on an investment strike because it gives them reasons to justify their unwillingness to invest in our economy. This reckless decision by the minister also gives these companies the social licence to openly interfere in political affairs with impunity. The president needs to act and act fast because nature does not allow a vacuum.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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