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Ramontja: Zwane undermined my authority as Mineral Resources DG

Former Director-General of Mineral Resources Dr Thibedi Ramontja said he served under seven ministers where he worked for 19 years in Mineral Resources, but with Zwane at the helm, his authority was undermined and Zwane's advisors were running the show.

 A screenshot of former Director-General of Mineral Resources Dr Thibedi Ramontja testifying at the state capture commission of inquiry on 14 March 2019. Picture: SABCNews/Youtube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Director-General of Mineral Resources Dr Thibedi Ramontja says he was left with no choice but to resign his position after the appointment of former Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

Ramontja is currently testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry in Parktown.

The former DG said he served under seven ministers where he worked for 19 years in Mineral Resources, but with Zwane at the helm, his authority was undermined and Zwane's advisors were running the show.

Ramontja said during that time he had no choice but to resign.

“That whole environment, chairperson, made me realise that this was the end because my health was compromised and I decided to leave the environment as it is because there will be other things I can do in life.”

'I WAS GIVEN 20 MINS TO RESIGN'

Ramontja also told the inquiry that an advisor to Zwane gave him just 20 minutes to resign in December 2015.

Ramontja said he was hurt by the order to leave the department where he'd served for 19 years.

The former DG said he was shocked by his forced departure but not surprised given the acrimonious situation.

“Here I am, getting fired just like that. Then I said to Mr Mabaso I want to leave; I will leave immediately as you said the minister wants a resignation in 20 minutes, then I will give it.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)