'Zwane’s conduct serves to tarnish brand South Africa'

Zwane filed a motion to oppose the court action but when he withdrew his proposed move to implement the moratorium on Thursday night, he failed to formally inform the court.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Pretoria High Court Judge Ramarumo Monama has criticised Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane for showing disrespect for the court and the Constitution when he failed to file an answering affidavit to the Chamber of Mines’ interdict of his department's plans to impose a moratorium suspending the issuance of new mining and prospective rights.

The industry body went to court on Friday to seek an urgent interdict.

Zwane filed a motion to oppose the court action but when he withdrew his proposed move to implement the moratorium on Thursday night, he failed to formally inform the court.

Although Zwane said last month that he intended to suspend the granting of applications for prospective mining rights, he announced Thursday night that based on various submissions from industry players he would not go ahead with the moratorium.

But he was meant to formally communicate this withdrawal to court in respect of the Chamber of Mine’s urgent application.

The industry body’s Dr Elize Strijdom said: “He was supposed to submit an answering affidavit to our affidavit and our notice of set down, he has simply ignored that."

This earned Zwane hard criticism from the judge who labelled his actions disrespectful to the court, the rule of law and the Constitution, adding that the minister’s conduct serves to tarnish brand South Africa.