Scopa rar­ing to go af­ter SOEs

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts wants ac­tion to be taken against those im­pli­cated in cor­rup­tion in sta­te­owned en­ter­prises (SOEs), in­clud­ing Eskom.

Chair­man of Scopa Themba Godi said yes­ter­day he had not seen the Na­tional Trea­sury re­port into Eskom, im­pli­cat­ing its for­mer and cur­rent top of­fi­cials with the Gup­tas, but his com­mit­tee would dis­cuss it.

It was re­ported yes­ter­day that the Na­tional Trea­sury had called for ac­tion against for­mer Eskom chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Molefe, his suc­ces­sor Mat­shela Koko and other of­fi­cials over coal con­tracts with the Gup­tas.

Tegeta, a Gupta-owned com­pany, was given coal con­tracts by Eskom but the con­tracts have been ques­tioned.

The Na­tional Trea­sury re­port comes af­ter Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers gave Scopa a damn­ing re­port into the same con­tracts, worth R4 bil­lion.

Eskom was grilled in Par­lia­ment by Scopa over the PwC re­port a few months ago. Scopa has been ask­ing for the Trea­sury re­port since last Novem­ber, but it had not been fi­nalised.

Godi said he has not seen the re­port, but the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of Scopa will meet to­mor­row to dis­cuss its pro­gramme, which will look at is­sues to be pri­ori­tised.

How­ever, he would not say when the Trea­sury re­port will be dis­cussed by the com­mit­tee.

“All I can con­firm is that I have not seen that re­port. I can con­firm that it’s a re­port we have asked for from the Na­tional Trea­sury,” he said.

He said Scopa wel­comed the sus­pen­sion of Eskom chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Anoj Singh.

His sus­pen­sion came af­ter Molefe left and for­mer board chair­man Ben Ngubane also quit.

Molefe is chal­leng­ing his re­moval from Eskom in court.

Koko is fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion re­lated to his step­daugh­ter’s con­tract with the power util­ity.

Godi said Scopa wants ac­tion on all those im­pli­cated in al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing.

He said the sus­pen­sions and the de­par­ture of peo­ple showed there were se­ri­ous prob­lems at Eskom.

“What is clear is that there are se­ri­ous gov­er­nance is­sues in our SOEs. We are happy Eskom has shone the light in that dark cor­ner,” said Godi.

“When Eskom an­nounced the fi­nan­cial re­sults last week we wel­comed the state­ment of the in­terim chair­per­son, Zethembe Khoza, that they will do the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

“The only con­cern we have, while we wel­come the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the CFO and to take dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Koko, the only thing is that they acted un­der pres­sure,” said Godi.

“It’s like their hand was forced. We hope their in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be fair, thor­ough and trans­par­ent,” said Godi.

This fol­lowed re­ports that the banks had threat­ened to re­call loans worth bil­lions of rand from Eskom if it did not act against Singh on al­le­ga­tions of his deal­ings with the Gup­tas.

The De­vel­op­ment Bank of South­ern Africa had threat­ened to re­call its R15bn loan un­less there was ac­tion.

There was fear other banks might fol­low suit and threaten the R350bn loan book of Eskom.

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