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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
SA party wants oil deal debated
M&G headline
The Mail & Guardian was prevented from publishing similar allegations
A South African political party has asked parliament to debate claims that relatives of cabinet members benefited from a controversial oil deal.

The Freedom Front said it sought "an urgent debate about apparent conflicts of interest" around the "Oilgate" case.

Two weeks ago, the Mail & Guardian newspaper reported that the governing ANC received $2m from a state oil deal.

A week later, a firm involved in the purchase won an interdict barring the paper from printing further details.

'Loan repaid'

The allegations made by the FF are thought to be similar to those made in the banned edition of the newspaper.

Yvonne Mfolo, a spokesman for Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, told Business Day newspaper that the minister would deal with the question in parliament.

A social development department official said a payment allegedly made to the wife of minister Zola Skweyiya was a personal loan that had been repaid

FF leader Pieter Mulder later expressed fears that the debate would not take place.

"We know from experience that the ANC uses its majority in parliament to only pick motions that suit it best for debate," he said.

Last week, an aide to South Africa's deputy president was convicted of fraud.


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