Zwane ‘a complete failure’ – but Zuma hired him anyway, says Zondo

Zwane ‘a complete failure’ – but Zuma hired him anyway, says Zondo

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has ripped into former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, singling him out for failing to execute his duties in office – and even questioning why former president Jacob Zuma favoured him, despite his obvious shortcomings.

Zondo released the fourth installment of the State Capture Commission’s report, which focuses on Eskom, the Estina scandal and the R1 billion housing project in the Free State.

Zwane was the Free State’s Human Settlements MEC, working under then premier Ace Magashule when the project was awarded in 2010. The commission heard how hundreds of millions were first forked out before any kind of work was done. The scheme was allegedly concocted by the MEC and the plan was to build 14 000 houses with the help of more than 100 contractors.

The department has lost approximately R400 million after the project became a total flop as the provincial government failed to live up to its promise to deliver housing to its people.

Instead of giving Zwane the axe, Zuma appointed him in his Cabinet, which was a promotion. In his report, Zondo says Zuma could have easily chosen to give the job to someone more capable than Zwane, but didn’t.

“President Zuma could have identified any one of the more than 200 ANC members of Parliament including the Chair and members of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources – people who had experience in dealing with mineral resource issues but no – President Zuma overlooked all of those people and went out of his way to look for an MEC in the Free State Provincial Government who had been a complete failure in two of the Portfolios that he had been given to lead”

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo reckons the reason why Magashule chose to keep Mosebenzi Zwane as MEC is linked to the very reason Zuma chose to promote him.

“Out of all evidence heard by the Commission that may be relevant to Mr Ramatlhodi’s removal as Minister of Mineral Resources and the appointment of Mr Zwane as Minister of Mineral Resources the only reason that presents itself as the most probable reason why President Zuma chose Mr Zwane is that the Guptas wanted Mr Zwane for Minister of Mineral Resources and President Zuma also wanted somebody that had the blessings of the Guptas and who would co-operate with the Guptas,” he said.

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