Tegeta Exploration threatened to seek an urgent interdict to stop National Treasury from releasing a report into Eskom contracts to the DA.
DA finance spokesperson David Maynier said on Thursday that he learned late last week that National Treasury would not release the report into Eskom’s coal contracts after initially showing every indication that it would comply with an application he filed in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) in May to obtain it.
The report was drafted by Treasury’s chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown in April.
Maynier said he believed the report contained damning findings against Tegeta, to which Treasury was obliged to write as a third party to inform it of the PAIA request.
“It’s clear the report makes devastating findings against Tegeta Exploration & Resources. And that’s why Tegeta Exploration & Resources are desperate to keep the report out of the public domain,” he said.
Tegeta sent a lawyer’s letter to Treasury in which it objected to the release of the report on the basis that it could not be a final document, as the mining firm had not been afforded a chance to comment on the findings.
It also accused the finance ministry of seeking to prejudice the company and threatened: “We have received legal advice to record that we reserve our rights and, should you decide to disclose the aforesaid report, obviously not in context with the constitutional principles affording us the right to comment on these averments you do so at your own peril,” the letter, dated June 23, stated.
“We will consider obtaining further advice in launching an urgent application to interdict you from releasing the report until it has been subjected to scrutiny of all parties concerned.”
Maynier said he would now appeal the decision not to provide him with a copy of the report. Apart from the initial PAIA application to get it, he also filed a second, demanding access to communication between Treasury and third parties involved.
“This is not the end of the road. I’ll be appealing the decision not to provide me with a copy of the report made by National Treasury. And I want Tegeta Exploration & Resources to know this: you can run but you cannot hide.”
Tegeta’s threat to take Treasury to court is coming to light amid the latest signs of high tension between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma. Gordhan on Thursday declined to report to the Hawks for an interview related to the unit’s long-running probe into allegations that an intelligence unit was set up illicitly within the revenue service while he was Sars commissioner.
Instead, Gordhan insisted that it was established lawfully and demanded to be left in peace to do his job.
– African News Agency (ANA)