Maynier: Zwane’s rep­ri­mand a slap on the wrist

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­press.co.za

At last we now know what Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma told rene­gade Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane when he “rep­ri­manded” him for is­su­ing a press state­ment an­nounc­ing a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into South Africa’s ma­jor banks last year.

De­spite per­sis­tent ques­tions from jour­nal­ists at press con­fer­ences and from MPs dur­ing sit­tings of Par­lia­ment, it took a re­quest re­gard­ing the Pro­mo­tion of Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act for Zuma to re­veal his rep­ri­mand.

Con­firm­ing that it was a slap on the wrist, Zuma doesn’t ad­mon­ish Zwane in his let­ter, but merely in­forms him that the me­dia state­ment is­sued was not au­tho­rised by Cabi­net.

Zuma goes on to say: “The oath of of­fice you have signed upon your ap­point­ment as a min­is­ter en­joined you not to di­vulge di­rectly or in­di­rectly any se­cret mat­ter en­trusted to you.

“The Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic of South Africa, 1996, and the Ex­ec­u­tive Ethics Code re­quires you to al­ways act in a man­ner that is con­sis­tent with the in­tegrity of your of­fice or gov­ern­ment.”

The let­ter, dated Septem­ber 23 2016, was re­leased to DA MP David Maynier on Fri­day af­ter he lodged an ap­pli­ca­tion through the Pro­mo­tion of Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act in De­cem­ber.

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Zwane’s of­fice re­fused to re­lease the let­ter to Maynier, stat­ing that the law made pro­vi­sion for an in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer of a pub­lic body to refuse a re­quest for ac­cess to a record of the body if its dis­clo­sure would in­volve the un­rea­son­able dis­clo­sure of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion about a third party.

Maynier told City Press yes­ter­day that the rep­ri­mand was a slap on the wrist and cre­ated the im­pres­sion that Zwane’s pro­posal for a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the banks, fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the Guptas’ bank ac­counts, was still very much on the cards as far as Zuma was con­cerned.

“In the end, Mosebenzi Zwane is a hired gun for the Guptas and should have been fired by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma,” said Maynier.

Zwane cre­ated a po­lit­i­cal storm in Septem­ber when he said Cabi­net had re­solved to ask Zuma to es­tab­lish a ju­di­cial in­quiry into the banks that had bro­ken ties with the Gupta fam­ily.

He also said there would be a re­view of the leg­is­la­tion that gov­erns the bank­ing sys­tem. Both Cabi­net and Zuma dis­tanced them­selves from Zwane’s state­ment, say­ing it had been is­sued in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity, not on be­half of Cabi­net or a task team.

Zuma later in­formed Par­lia­ment through a writ­ten re­ply that he had rep­ri­manded Zwane for ir­reg­u­larly is­su­ing a state­ment on be­half of Cabi­net.

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