South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane

The minister in charge of SA’s mining has joined the fray seeking the Public Protector’s office to not publish a report into so-called state capture.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Department of Mineral Resources says the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane has launched an application seeking an urgent order interdicting the publication and release of the Public Protector’s findings and recommendations concerning an investigation into complaints regarding any alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President of the Republic of South Africa and/or any other persons related to an alleged improper relationship with the Gupta family, pending a review application to set aside the report.

Zwane’s office argues he had no option but to now become involved in this matter, as he was not afforded an opportunity to answer allegations levelled against him (contained in a letter he received from the Public Protector) in terms of the Constitution, Public Protector Act and Promotion of Administration of Justice Act.

“The Public Protector cannot confirm or deny if the report, which is now alleged to be in final form, makes any adverse findings against the minister. It is the minister’s submission that the report was hastily prepared without due regard to his constitutional rights,” the statement says.

His appointment came after Nhlanhla Nene was unceremoniously sacked, but Van Rooyen was later replaced by Pravin Gordhan after an outcry from business and the international investment community.

Zuma’s application is set down to be heard before a full bench (three judges) on Tuesday. It is believed that Judge President Dunstan Mlambo will be one of the judges.