Mosebenzi Zwane evaded state capture questions in Parly, Zondo hears

Outa’s Matt Johnston said Zwane kept postponing his appearance saying he was writing exams or was ill.

FILE: Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane on Friday 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa)’s Matt Johnson detailed the frustrations Parliament faced when it wanted former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to answer questions on alleged state capture.

Johnson is Outa’s parliamentary engagement manager and testified at the State Capture Commission on Friday.

The former minister has been implicated in evidence, including the landing of the Gupta jet at the Waterkloof Air Base, the Glencore-Tegeta transaction and the Vrede Dairy Farm.

So, Parliament, Outa and other civil society organisations want to hear his side of the story. But he said evidence like the Gupta emails was not legitimate.

"He asked whether he was being put on trial without allowing legitimate structures, like the courts, to do their work. He was asserting that the proper structures to deal with these issues were the courts and the Hawks, not the portfolio committee, is that a fair summary?" asked evidence leader Advocate Alec Freund.

Johnson replied: "Absolutely."

He said Zwane kept postponing his appearance, saying he was writing exams or was ill and sometimes he would postpone by three months but would still not appear.

Freund added that: "Two reporters said 'a jovial and joking Mosebenzi Zwane on Tuesday evening became an ill minister of mineral resources on Wednesday morning'."

Johnson said members of the committee had access to the article but they were not bothered by it.

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