Please explain, Zuma’s son told
Duduzane, Guptas to give Eskom evidence
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane will face MPs next month after the portfolio committee on public enterprises confirmed yesterday it would call him and the Guptas to give evidence in its investigation into Eskom’s deals with Gupta-owned companies.
Acting chairperson of the committee Zukiswa Rantho said yesterday that they had written to Duduzane and the Guptas to appear before the inquiry next month.
In the words of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, just this week: “You all know that Eskom has been embroiled in a series of serious allegations of maladministration and corruption.
“None of the allegations have been proven in a court of law, but they have fundamentally eroded the company’s integrity and will continue to do so until they are engaged by the appropriate law enforcement agencies and addressed, one way or the other.”
Brown added that certain matters were now in court, so she felt a little constrained about what she could say.
But she pointed out that, as the “shareholder’s representative”, she was reliant on Eskom’s board and management for accurate information.
“I have recently had reason to question the veracity of some of the answers I have been given,” Brown said.
MPs, too, were not happy with some of the answers they were given by the power utility, and it was for this reason that they agreed to an investigation into Eskom.
In compiling a list of witnesses, the portfolio committee decided to include Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas.
Rantho said: “We first wrote to them to tell them that the committee would call them.”
She said a date had not yet been set for the inquiry because of the extra information that they kept receiving about Eskom.
“This information has led to us having to put back the date every time. We will see as time goes on which witnesses we will call on specific dates,” said Rantho.
“The committee will set out the dates once we have more certainty.”
The committee’s intention is to look at Eskom following a decision that was taken in May.
Initially, the committee had wanted to investigate Eskom’s decision to reinstate Brian Molefe as its chief executive.
However, the scope was expanded as MPs demanded answers on the coal contracts between Tegeta, a Gupta-owned company, and Eskom.
Eskom was also heavily criticised by the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) a few months ago over its coal contracts with the Guptas.
This followed a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that the contract was flawed and no proper processes were followed in drawing it up.
Scopa had also asked Eskom about its real value as it was said the contract was worth R4 billion over 10 years, while some put it at R7bn.
PwC is not the only company that has probed Eskom, as there are six other reports lying around at the power utility on previous investigations.