Thuli Madonsela has struck a deadly blow against Eskom, says Ben Ngubane

African News Agency (ANA)

Thuli Madonsela has struck a deadly blow against Eskom, says Ben Ngubane
An Eskom logo is seen at the entrance of their head offices in Sunninghill, Sandton, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane on Thursday lashed out at former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, accusing her of denying Eskom executives the right of reply in her the “State of Capture” report which implicates them in possible wrong doing.

Ngubane said the report should have been completed by the new Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who took over from Madonsela last month.

“This report could have been delayed to be finalised by the new Public Protector. We sent 42 files on the last day of the date the Public Protector was demanding answers,” Ngubane said.

“We answered all her questions, but she finalised the report without even talking to us. Why couldn’t she have left it to the new Public Protector?”

The damning report said Eskom had neglected its public mandate and prejudiced mining multi-national Glencore in order for Optimum Coal Mine and Optimum Coal Holdings to get into business rescue.

The report said Eskom had also awarded a contract for the supply of coal to its Arnot, Majuba and Hendrina power stations to Tegeta to enable the firm to purchase all shares in Optimum Coal Holdings.

Though Madonsela made adverse findings against Eskom in relation to its coal deal with Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe insisted that all contracts he had signed off were above board and clean of corruption.

Molefe further said he would take full responsibility and resign if there was any wrong doing found in Eskom coal deals with Tegeta. Then he broke down and sobbed as he left the podium.

Molefe was presenting Eskom’s interim results for six months ending in September.

Clearly vexed about the effect of Madonsela’s report on Molefe, Ngubane got went to the podium. He said it would be Madonsela’s fault should Molefe decide to leave the power utility because he was “highly prejudiced” by her report.

“I would like to say that Thuli Madonsela has struck a deadly blow against Eskom and against the people of South Africa. If we lose Brian, she takes the blame,” Ngubane. Molefe then left the auditorium.

“I consider this a watershed moment for South Africa. We are sliding to a very dangerous slope. This is dangerous. Someone makes a complaint, it is not properly investigated and not given a right of reply, but adverse findings are made.”

Ngubane said National Treasury had the mandate and capacity to investigate any tender at Eskom that was not properly awarded.

Eskom had earlier in the day reported a 10.5 percent increase in revenue year-on-year to R97.1bn for the six months ended in September due to a 31.6 percent increase in electricity exports to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ngubane said Eskom had achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of R31.5 billion because of Molefe’s leadership at the power utility.

South Africa Today – South Africa News

SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)