26/07/2017 06:30 SAST | Updated 26/07/2017 06:30 SAST

The Chamber Of Mines Goes To Court Over Zwane, Again

This is the third legal challenge to the mineral resources minister by the Chamber.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mosebenzi Zwane, South Africa's mineral resources minister, speaks on the opening day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. With many miners battling to stay afloat, fewer are willing to shell out 1,140 pounds ($1,641) for the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in South Africa and business-class airfare. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In what is now its third legal action against the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, the Chamber of Mines on Monday sought an urgent application to stop Zwane's proposals to restrict mining transactions, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

On July 19, Zwane gazetted a notice indicating that he wanted to restrict the granting of new prospecting right and the transfer of rights between companies.

According to Business Day, the Chamber has two other legal processes against Zwane on the go: it wants a declaratory order from the court about whether past empowerment deals count towards empowerment credits, and it wants to stop the implementation of the Mining Charter.

On July 20, Roger Baxter, CEO of the Chamber, reportedly wrote to Zwane warning him that the Chamber had sought legal advice that he was acting unlawfully, and saying that the Chamber would go to court if the gazetted notice was not rescinded by Monday.

Tebello Chabana, senior executive of transformation at the Chamber, reportedly said in the affidavit filed on Tuesday:

"This demonstrates that representations will also not move the minister to withdraw the notice. The chamber therefore has no alternative than to seek that the unlawful... process be urgently reviewed and set aside by this honourable court..."

This also follows the laying of criminal charges against Zwane by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, for treason, corruption, fraud and theft, relating to his relationship with the Gupta family.