Controversial Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, and three Gupta brothers are to be charged with money laundering in the coming weeks.

Zwane and the Guptas will feature in what will be registered in South African history as the first state capture case to be prosecuted.

Zwane will be accused for his part in a sophisticated and elegant conspiracy that allegedly siphoned off at least R220 million that was meant to benefit poor farmers – to fund the Gupta’s ostentatious lifestyle.

According to the indictment Zwane, the Guptas and their associates will face three charges:

  1. money laundering
  2. assisting others to benefit from unlawful activities
  3. the acquisition and possession of proceeds of unlawful activities

Each individual count carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years or a fine of up to R100-million.

The National Prosecuting Authority has, however, denied there is a finalized indictment of charges of money laundering against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and members of the Gupta family.

The Chamber of Mines has welcomed the publication in the Government Gazette of the terms of reference for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

The Chamber especially welcomes the fact that – on initial reading – the terms of reference are largely based on the recommendations of then-Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela – and that those drafting them have not allowed themselves to be distracted by attempts to divert the Commission’s focus.

The inquiry has been given 180 days to complete this extensive task, and it is hoped that it will be given the necessary resources to do so.

The Chamber of Mines and its members will provide their full support and co-operation to the commission.

Chamber CEO Roger Baxter notes that “while the publication of the terms of reference is a further encouraging step after the appointment of Deputy Chief Justice Zondo to head the Commission, we hope that the architects and beneficiaries of state capture will not be given any opportunity to derail or delay the work of the Commission”.

Feature image credit: Wikimedia