Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises is set to launch a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into the “rot” at Eskom, as requested by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the party said yesterday.
The DA’s shadow minister of public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, said the probe was expected to focus on a broad range of issues, such as the controversial reappointment of Brian Molefe as the power utility’s CEO and his quashed R30-million “golden handshake”, among other issues that have plunged the entity into a crisis.
Mazzone said the official opposition had long pushed for the inquiry to be launched, and they were pleased that preparations for the inquiry would now begin next week Thursday, on June 21.
“For far too long, good governance practices at Eskom have crumbled under the watch of Minister Lynne Brown, its executives and board members, while the Gupta-ANC mafia has pillaged public money at the utility and other public enterprises alike,” Mazzone said.
Parliament had the authority to oversee and investigate the governance failures at Eskom, and ensure that the electricity utility operated effectively for the people of South Africa, Mazzone said, adding the investigation was “a critical step towards ensuring all of those responsible for the mess at Eskom are held to account and that the full details of the corruption at Eskom are finally laid bare”.
According to the DA, the inquiry must investigate the following contentious matters:
- Brian Molefe’s reappointment saga and his “golden handshake”;
- Public Enterprises Minister [Lynne] Brown seemingly misleading parliament in her reply to a DA parliamentary question when she failed to disclose the contracts of engagement between the Gupta-linked Trillian and Eskom;
- former acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s nepotism scandal;
- allegations by former mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi that Molefe and Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to strong-arm him into withdrawing Glencore’s Optimum mining licences in order to guarantee the Guptas take over Glencore’s coalmines; and
- allegations of Duduzane Zuma producing a fake intelligence report that President Jacob Zuma used to fire four Eskom executives in 2015.