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'Judicial inquiry into banking sector may still be on the cards'

Minister Zwane claimed it was ‘unprecedented’ for banks to unilaterally close clients’ accounts.

Mosebenzi Zwane, South African Minister of Mineral Resources. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has attacked banks' decisions to close clients' accounts and has also suggested that a judicial inquiry into the sector may still be on the cards.

Answering questions in Parliament, Zwane refused to answer when asked whether he would resign after announcing last week that Cabinet had agreed to recommend to President Jacob Zuma that he set up a probe into the banks that halted doing business with the Gupta family.

Cabinet and the Presidency said there had been no such decision and that Zwane was speaking in his personal capacity.

Zwane also refused to answer why he had issued a misleading statement.

Mining Zwane claimed it was "unprecedented" for banks to unilaterally close clients' accounts.

"This matter can therefore not be left hanging."

Zwane gave a nod to Cabinet protocol saying, "To this extent, matters discussed within the Cabinet remain there."

He says the issue of a judicial commission of inquiry into the banking sector is up to President Jacob Zuma

"Once he has sufficiently applied his mind on the matter, once the Cabinet has dealt with this issue, it will elect to make it public - there's no need to be in a hurry "

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appeared to pour cold water on a bank's probe, saying people with complaints could approach the Financial Services Board or the Banking Ombudsman.

WATCH: Minister Zwane grilled in Parliament