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Fire Gupta appointed Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and his DG, says NUM

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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called on newly installed South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, to dismiss Department of Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane and the Director-General, Thabo Mokoena.

In a statement released on Friday, 16 February, the union says it wants the two to be fired because “of their desperate efforts to suspend and dismiss experienced Regional managers, compliance team and inspectors who issue statutory notices to the Gupta [referring to the Gupta family] non-compliance mining operations like what happened at Koornfontein mine yesterday in our presence where a very competent compliance team leader was dismissed with immediate effect because of his courage to remedy all the detected transformation and compliance issues.”

The union charges that under Zwane’s “tenure in office (sic) Optimum, Kroonfontein, Brakfontein, and all Shiva Uranium operations are designated as a no-go areas and therefore the ANC current leadership led by comrade Cyril Ramaphosa must be decisive and immediately intervene to stop this dictatorial abuse of power by the DG and the Minister of Mineral Resources.”

Speaking to Political Analysis South Africa on Saturday, 17 February, the Chairperson of NUM Highveld, Nelson Ratshoshi, qualified comments made in the statement, saying “Gupta-linked companies do not want to implement social labour plans” and also says in the name of saving jobs, the mines need new buyers and capital injection in order to protect jobs. Ratshoshi shares that “yesterday [15 February] we [NUM] were at CCMA, they [Optimum] want to retrench almost 245 out of 622 employees at Koornfontein.”

Ratshoshi believes that only a “progressive and innovative Minister,” not Mosebenzi Zwane, will be able to solve problems and save jobs at Gupta-linked mines.

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