Energy ministry: Joemat-Pettersson endorsed PetroSA chair

Tshepo Kgadima has been accused of taking money from investors.

PetroSA Chairperson Tshepo Kgadima. Picture: LinkedIn.

JOHANNESBURG - The energy ministry has confirmed that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson did recommend to the Central Energy Fund (CEF) that Tshepo Kgadima be appointed chair of PetroSA.

Joemat-Pettersson told the National Assembly last week that the appointment was not a Cabinet decision and the choice of the CEF, which appeared to mean she had not played a role in the appointment.

Kgadima has been accused of taking money from investors after claiming his companies had assets they did not in fact possess.

The minister's spokesperson Zodwa Visser says Joemat-Pettersson played the role she's allowed to play in the appointment of Kgadima.

But she won't comment on the claims that have emerged against the new PetroSA chair.

"We're not saying the allegations are false or true, we're saying let the legal process take its course."

Last week, Kgadima had to be escorted out of the Business Day's offices by security after harassing journalists who were writing about him.

Opposition parties have called for an independent inquiry into Kgadima and have also accused the minister of misleading Parliament when she said she had nothing to do with his appointment to the PetroSA board.

'TOO EARLY TO CONDEMN JOEMAT-PETTERSSON'

The energy ministry says it's too early to ask questions about the judgment of the minister in recommending Kgadima as PetroSA chair because the vetting process into his history isn't finished yet.

Visser said it's too early to condemn Joemat-Pettersson for recommending him.

She said Joemat-Pettersson can't answer questions about whether she still thinks Kgadima is the right person for the job.

"It's extremely unprofessional for the minister to influence the vetting process."