Sack ‘Gordhan’s lackey’ Eskom COO Oberholzer at once – EFF

Eskom COO, Jan Oberholzer. Image: Twitter / @City_Press

Any effort to protect him would be to defend corruption and participate in a deliberate collapse of the power utility, the EFF says.

The EFF has called for the immediate removal of Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer after a damning report into alleged misconduct.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the EFF said it was vindicated by the report after the party called for Oberholzer’s removal since damning allegations against him regarding nepotism, victimisation of non-compliant employees and conflict of interest surfaced in March 2020.

It was reported that advocate Nazeer Cassim found that Oberholzer may have acted contrary to the interests of Eskom in authorising or promoting payment of R42 million to Aveng, which a general manager, Mark Chettiar, refused to execute.

Cassim concluded that it would be inappropriate to conduct any disciplinary hearing as the dispute had already been heard in the High Court and judgment was pending, the report said.

A payment approved by Oberholzer to another contractor was also questioned by the independent counsel in his 15-page report, which was not released publicly, but has been seen by Bloomberg.

Eskom declined to comment. Oberholzer could not be reached for comment.

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The EFF said Oberholzer’s continued tenure at Eskom posed a risk to the national asset and public finances, adding that any effort to protect him would be to defend corruption and participate in a deliberate collapse of the power utility.

“No action has been taken against Oberholzer for this clear and flagrant disregard of Eskom policy and due process. Rather, he has been publicly defended by Eskom leadership. This promotes the perception in society that whites are never taken to account for any of their crimes, and that Oberholzer is a beneficiary of this white privilege. There is no other plausible explanation of why the Eskom board has been hell-bent on defending Oberholzer.

“We reiterate our call for a legitimate criminal process to be instituted against Jan Oberholzer and all those associated with him in defrauding and compromising Eskom.”

The party also accused Oberholzer of being Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s lackey, claiming that together they’re the champions of the corrupt “new dawn” agenda seeking to collapse Eskom and sell it to the highest bidder.

A Bloomberg report states Cassim found that Oberholzer, a former employee of Stefanutti Stocks, signed a submission to Eskom’s investment and finance committee recommending an increase in a contract with the construction firm.

At the time, Oberholzer held shares in Stefanutti Stocks, the value of which had declined to R6 000 from an initial R600 000, the report said.

Cassim said Oberholzer had breached the provisions of Eskom policy and should have abstained from the transactions in totality. Cassim recommended that the CEO or a nominated board member counsel Oberholzer on the matter.

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