South Africa 1.8.2017 02:13 pm

Energy minister says she hasn’t suspended CEF board

Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi

Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi

Mmamoloko Kubayi has described Tuesday reports on the matter as inaccurate.

Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi has said reports on Tuesday that she suspended the Central Energy Fund’s (CEF’s) board members are not accurate.

In a statement, the minister’s office said she had merely given the board members letters on the morning of 26 July “requesting an explanation on concerns”.

“It is also important to stress the fact that Minister Kubayi is the shareholder to CEF and all matters relating to governance at the [state-owned company] will be dealt between herself and the board, as such matters are dealt within the confidentiality it deserves.

“Should there be a need to make public announcement on any matter relating to the issues, minister Kubayi will do so at an appropriate time.

“At this stage, we appeal to all not give a misrepresentation of the process.”

Business Day reported on its front page that the entire board of the CEF had been suspended.

According to the report, Kubayi met with members of the board at a meeting in Pretoria last Thursday to announce her decision. The minister reportedly asked the board to explain their role in the secret disposal of 10.3 million barrels of South Africa’s strategic fuel reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) in December 2015.

Earlier this year in May, Kubayi confirmed to parliament’s portfolio committee on energy that the fuel stocks were “sold” and not rotated, as was claimed by her predecessor, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, last year.

Kubayi is reported to have not appointed interim board members and some executive committee members at the state-owned national energy utility.

The board members – who include chairperson Luvo Makasi, acting CEO Mojalefa Moagi, chief financial officer Lufuno Makhuba and company secretary Abdul Haffejee – reportedly had until 5pm on Monday to respond to questions from the minister, but sources claimed they had done so individually.

The CEF’s financial results were meant to be approved by the board later this week.

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