Embattled Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane on Wednesday said he would not resign.
Zwane said this in response to DA MP David Maynier who asked if he would graciously resign.
The defiant minister made this known when he responded to an urgent question okayed by speaker Baleka Mbete shortly before the official oral questions posed to ministers in the economics cluster.
Maynier launched the scathing attack on Zwane following the latter’s ‘reckless’ comment on Friday. Zwane had raised some dust after he issued a statement calling for the establishment of a judicial inquiry into the closing of the Gupta family’s bank accounts.
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He also claimed that the statement was issued on behalf of the cabinet and demanded immediate and prompt action against the banks that shut down the accounts. But hours later, the presidency washed its hands off the statement.
Minister Mosebenzi Zwane Insists Parliament Lacks Jurisdiction To Treat His Case
Slugging it out with Maynier in the National Assembly; Zwane maintained that the MP lacks jurisdiction to throw such question to him and has no right to demand his resignation.
He added: “I appreciate the question that has been asked. But there’s a separation of powers and this matter – whether I resign or not – the matter belongs to the Cabinet. As a result, the honourable Maynier cannot ask me whether I’ll resign or not.”
The minister insisted that he can only be reprimanded by the Cabinet; not Parliament and wondered why “Maynier seems to be problematizing” the issue.
Reacting to the obstinate minister’s assertion, Maynier disclosed that he knew that Zwane was appointed to represent the Guptas rather than the public’s interest.
“We do not want a hired gun for the Guptas in this Parliament,” he thundered.
While the grilling lasted, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was spanked and battered by the DA MPs. He was however rescued by Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete; who weighed in on the matter by asking DA chief whip John Steenhuisen (who later paired up with Maynier) to back off.
Mosebenzi Zwane was the agriculture MEC in the Free State; before he was towered into the cabinet in 2015 as mineral resources minister. He took over from former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi who is now at Public Service and Administration. Also,
Also, Zwane is said to have ties with the Guptas. He reportedly played a role in the private jet carrying guests for a Gupta wedding in Sun City, landing at Waterkloof Airforce Base in 2013.