'Ill' ministers duck state capture questions in Parliament

Lynne Brown was scheduled to answer questions in the National Assembly, while Mosebenzi Zwane was supposed to explain his relationship with the Guptas.

FILE: Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Two Cabinet ministers who were due to face questions about state capture in Parliament on Wednesday have called in sick.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was scheduled to answer questions in the National Assembly, while Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was supposed to explain his relationship with the Guptas.

Brown’s spokesperson Colin Cruywagen says the minister sent an apology in advance to the National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s office explaining that she was ill.

She was supposed to face questions from Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone about whether she would resign in the face of mounting allegations of state capture at state-owned companies.

Zwane’s absence has raised eyebrows because he was spotted at an African National Congress gathering in Free State on Tuesday night.

Chairperson of the Mineral Resources Portfolio Committee Zet Luzipo says Zwane told the committee he was sick.

“We didn’t expect the sick note.”

A third minister, Des van Rooyen, was also conspicuous in his absence at a joint parliamentary committee meeting to discuss municipal debt. He is also in the Free State to campaign in a high-stakes by-election.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)