MPs to ques­tion Zuma’s son and Gup­tas

As with the SABC in­quiry, Eskom shenani­gans will be ex­posed

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s son Duduzane and the Gupta fam­ily are some of the peo­ple to be sum­moned to tes­tify dur­ing a probe into the shenani­gans at Eskom.

For­mer Eskom big­wigs Ben Ngubane and his close ally Brian Molefe are also on the list of wit­nesses MPs are plan­ning to grill over the prob­lems at the power util­ity.

Yes­ter­day, the pub­lic en­ter­prises port­fo­lio com­mit­tee said it would need just over a month to get to the bot­tom of the state cap­ture al­le­ga­tions at Eskom.

Duduzane Zuma and the Gup­tas are at the cen­tre of al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture at Eskom.

The par­lia­men­tary probe will also cast its net wider to in­clude for­mer Eskom chair­per­son Zola Tsotsi, act­ing chair­per­son Zethembe Khoza, for­mer act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko and an­other ex-act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive, Collin Matjila.

Among the ex­ec­u­tives to be called are Anoj Singh, Suzanne Daniels and Elsie Pule.

MPs also said Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown and her deputy, Ben Martins, would have to come and give ev­i­dence.

Ngubane quit as board chair­per­son in a huff last week, af­ter an ap­par­ent fall­out be­tween him and Brown over who should run Eskom.

The ANC said Ngubane should be held to ac­count for the prob­lems at Eskom.

Ngubane told The Star last week that he and Molefe were be­ing tar­geted for be­ing close to Zuma and were vic­tims of ANC in­fight­ing.

The DA in the com­mit­tee pushed for the names of Duduzane and Atul and Ajay Gupta to be in­cluded on the wit­nesses list.

Yes­ter­day, Zuk­iswa Ran­tho, act­ing chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic en­ter­prises, agreed to the list. He said this would form part of the direc­tive by the House chair­per­son in the National As­sem­bly, Cedric Frolick, to the com­mit­tee.

“We will in­clude the names of Ajay and Atul Gupta and Duduzane Zuma,” she said.

“Ac­cord­ing to the rules of Par­lia­ment we can sum­mon any per­son to ap­pear. We will stick to the rules. We must work to­gether as the com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment,” said Ran­tho.

She de­nied that their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into state cap­ture and the Gup­tas was part of ANC fac­tional bat­tles lead­ing to the pol­icy con­fer­ence at the end of the month and the elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is based on the prob­lems at Eskom and other state-owned en­ti­ties, she said, adding that “this was a se­ri­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing bil­lions and bil­lions of rand be­long­ing to the tax­pay­ers”.

“Peo­ple will say what they want to say. We are not a fac­tion here. We want to see clean gov­er­nance,” said Ran­tho.

The com­mit­tee agreed that they would dig into the leaked emails, coal con­tracts at Eskom and the reap­point­ment of Molefe at the power util­ity, among oth­ers.

She added that they were also part of the com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­gat­ing other state-owned en­ter­prises.

Frolick this week also asked the var­i­ous par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees to probe the leaked emails im­pli­cat­ing sev­eral min­is­ters.

“We wish to have this in­quiry in one month. I think we will need more than one month and we may ap­ply to Par­lia­ment for ex­tra time,” Ran­tho said.

Dur­ing the meet­ing of the com­mit­tee all par­ties agreed on the scope of the in­quiry.

MPs said they wanted to con­duct a swift probe into Eskom to en­sure that all those re­spon­si­ble for the prob­lems at the power util­ity were held ac­count­able and brought to jus­tice.

ANC MP Moss Tseli said all the par­ties had agreed to the in­quiry be­cause it was in the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try and Eskom.

“The is­sue at hand is the one that con­cerns all of us, hence we have taken a de­ci­sion to have an in­quiry.

“We are do­ing this thing col­lec­tively in the best in­ter­ests of our peo­ple. I am con­fi­dent we will work to­gether,” he said.

The DA’s Natasha Maz­zone said in a state­ment her party wel­comed the in­clu­sion of the Gup­tas and Duduzane.

“The DA will fully par­tic­i­pate in this Eskom in­quiry, which we called for.

“And we look for­ward to in­ter­ro­gat­ing the im­pli­cated Gup­tas and Mr Duduzane Zuma in per­son,” she said.

Ear­lier, she told the com­mit­tee that they would need all the doc­u­ments and board min­utes into Eskom’s deal­ings in the past 10 years.

She said they also need the “sani­tised” Den­tons re­port and Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers’ re­port into ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at Eskom.

The com­mit­tee would take a leaf out of the ad hoc com­mit­tee into the SABC in­quiry to en­sure that they delve into flout­ing of the law and abuse of power, she added.

DUDUZANE ZUMA

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