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Eskom considers taking state of the capture report on review

The power utility has been highly criticised for its conduct in the Public Protector’s report.

FILE: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe speaks during a press conference in Johannesburg on 3 November 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – There have been a few developments regarding Eskom and the state of capture report with the utility saying it will consider taking the report on review, while CEO Brian Molefe is seeking legal advice and Tegeta now wants to be released from all contracts with the company.

The power utility has been highly criticised for its conduct in the Public Protector’s report which was released last week following a High Court ruling.

Eskom maintains all transactions were legal and that it did supply information to the Public Protector, but its view was never considered.

Government officials, ministers and the president are all looking at what to do next following the release of the state of capture report.

In particular, Eskom has taken the allegations to heart with chairman Ben Ngubane saying that if the power utility lost Molefe, Thuli Madonsela would be to blame.

Molefe has admitted he is friends with the Guptas, and has in the past claimed that it was unfair for South Africans to run them out of the country and close their bank accounts without a full investigation.

He maintains that his decision to go ahead with a prepayment of R600 million for coal from Gupta-owned Tegeta was above board but now says he will explain himself at the appropriate time.

Tegeta has also now asked to be released from all contracts with Eskom but at the moment the contract remains in place.

NGUBANE COMES OUT GUNS BLAZING

Ngubane last week said making assumptions, as the Public Protector did in her report, will damage the country.

He said speculating will not help resolve issues.

“So please man, don’t draw conclusions on what happened in the Public Protector’s report. You read things and say maybe it’s illegal. Establish the legality of it first and then talk. This thing of setting people’s minds against other people is going to kill this country.”

Eskom maintains that Madonsela did not give the utility the right of reply or the opportunity to cross-examine her evidence.

On Thursday, Molefe wept as he defended Eskom’s decision to prepay Tegeta for coal.

Eskom board member Pat Naidoo insisted that prepaying suppliers is common practice.

“We talk to our investors 24/7, we talk to our customers, we’ve got real-time duty and suddenly we are hit with this. The findings, observations are very sad and finally the Eskom board is considering taking the report of the Public Protector on review.”

Eskom has disputed the report’s findings, saying that all transactions complied with the utility’s procurement policies.
Naidoo says all this information was provided to the Public Protector.

Eskom will consider taking the report on review.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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