Mosebenzi Zwane ducks resignation question in Parliament

He says the question regarding his resignation over a controversial statement doesn’t belong in Parliament.

Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: Youtube

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says the Democratic Alliance (DA) has no jurisdiction to ask him to step down, as it's the job of the President.

Zwane came under fire in the National Assembly, but hasn't clarified why his department issued a statement claiming it had the backing of Cabinet regarding a judicial investigation into the major banks, which closed the accounts of the Gupta family.

President Jacob Zuma released a statement, distancing government from what he called the "regrettable" statement.

However, Zwane says this matter doesn't belong to Parliament.

"In terms of our well established practice of separation of powers, this matter belongs to Cabinet and not Parliament - as a result Honourable Maynier has no jurisdiction to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources whether he will resign.

But the DA's David Maynier hit back, saying the minister only represents the interest of the Gupta family.

"We were all shocked when President Jacob Zuma appointed that minister to his Cabinet. We were shocked because we suspected that the minister would not serve the public interest, but that he would serve the interests of one family and that family is the Guptas."

WATCH: Minister Zwane grilled in Parliament

Maynier was granted permission in terms of National Assembly rules to put an urgent question to Zwane at the start of today's oral reply session with ministers in the economics cluster of government.

He tried to get Zwane to say why he had issued a misleading statement about a potential judicial probe into the banking sector, saying he was an embarrassment.

"In the end the minister must go and he must go now because we do not want a hired gun for the Guptas in this Parliament."

Zwane simply repeated Maynier had no right to ask him to resign.

Speaker Baleka Mbete also came under fire for failing to press Zwane to account to Parliament, as the Constitution binds him to.