25/07/2017 06:16 SAST | Updated 25/07/2017 06:16 SAST

Outa Lays Treason And Corruption Charges Against Mining Minister Zwane

The charges relate to Mosebenzi Zwane's alleged relationship with the Gupta family.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Charges of theft, corruption, treason and extortion have been laid against mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, Business Day reported on Tuesday. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) reportedly laid the charges at the Randburg police station in Johannesburg on Monday.

In an affidavit, Outa COO Ben Theron reportedly laid out the basis for the charges, which centre around Zwane's alleged relationship with the Gupta family going back to his time as Free State MEC for Agriculture in 2012, and the details of his dealings with them, laid out in the Gupta emails.

Theron reportedly said that Zwane, "intentionally and unlawfully participated in activities which violated, threatened and endangered the existence, independence and security of the Republic".

Theron reportedly explained how Zwane handed the Gupta family the Vrede dairy farm and was then allegedly gifted a free trip to India, and a number of other drips to India and Dubai, allegedly paid for by the Guptas.

Theron also explained allegations that nearly R1.7 billion in rehabilitation funds built up in the Optimum and Koornfontein collieries were allegedly irregularly released and went to the Bank of Baroda, where the Guptas bank accounts were held, Business Day reported.

Zwane also allegedly supported the Gupta's company, Tegeta, in its bid to buy the Optimum mine from Glencore, and allegedly flew to Switzerland to assist them in talks with Glencore.

The department of mineral resources has reportedly remained mum on the Outa charges.

TimesLive reported that the charges are under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, and that Zwane could face 25 years in prison if convicted. His role in the Gupta aircraft landing at Waterkloof airforce base is also reportedly among the charges against him.

Outa recently laid treason charges against former communications minister, Faith Muthambi.