'I am very worried about the Guptas'

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says that he's concerned about the Gupta family's role in influencing decisions at state-owned entities.

FILE: Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says that he's concerned about the Gupta family's role in influencing decisions at state-owned entities.

Gigaba was responding to the suspension of Eskom's chief finance officer Anoj Singh.

Singh was placed on special leave on Thursday pending an investigation.

He's been linked to the Gupta family and accused of signing off on a number of questionable deals.

Gigaba says that he fully supports Eskom's decision.

"Like all South Africans, I am very worried about them and I think we need to establish fact from allegation. That is why it is important to fully support a judicial commission of inquiry to establish the truth and be able to provide clarity."

LISTEN: Gigaba responds to Eskom CFO's suspension


Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says that placing Singh on special leave paves the way for a transparent investigation but it remains unclear what he is being investigated for.

Eskom says it's still formulating the scope of the investigation, while Brown called for several short term probes last week.

The utility's acting CEO Johnny Dladla has also called for transactions with consultancy firms McKinsey and Trillian - which is linked to the Gupta's - to be investigated.

Anoj Singh moved to Eskom along with his colleague Brian Molefe, and both men have come under the spotlight for their relationship with the Gupta's.

When Singh was at Transnet with Molefe, he was whisked off to Dubai on at least four occasions and stayed at luxury hotels which was all allegedly paid for by the Gupta's.

But these trips, which Singh was due to explain to Eskom's board, had nothing to do with the decision to place him on special leave.

Reports suggest it was the Development Bank of South Africa's threat to withdraw a multi-billion rand loan that forced the board to investigate Singh after the bank flagged R3 billion in spending that flouted the Public Finance Management Act.

While Minister Lynne Brown and Eskom have stressed that stability at the utility is imperative, neither have explained why Singh is being investigated.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has warned that despite Singh being placed on special leave, this doesn't excuse him from the parliamentary inquiry into the utility.

The DA's shadow Minister for Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone says there's a range of corruption scandals and dodgy deals that Singh may have played a role in.

"We have been calling for his suspension and we do welcome it, however this does not excuse him from appearing before the upcoming parliamentary inquiry into Eskom and we have committed to laying charges against Mr Singh."

At the same time, civil action group Outa is calling for a credible and genuine investigation into Singh's activities at Eskom.