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Kubayi: Oil stocks sold in 2015 still in SA

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has also defended her decision to second her Director-General Thabane Zulu to act as the interim chief executive officer of the Strategic Fuel Fund.

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: @Energy_ZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says that oil stocks sold in 2015 have not left South African shores.

She's told Parliament’s Energy Committee that the board of the Strategic Fuel Fund is in the final stages of going to court to determine whether government can buy back the fuel.

The minister has also defended her decision to second her Director-General Thabane Zulu to act as the fund's interim chief executive officer.

Kubayi says that in just a few months, Zulu has already brought about reform at the Strategic Fuel Fund.

“I have proved that I’m acting legally. From where I’m sitting, I’ve done nothing illegal.”

But the Democratic Alliance’s Gordon MacKay says that Zulu is overreaching, illegally changing the mandate of the fund to include oil exploration.

“There’s been a significant break from the operation of the Strategic Fuel Fund, which had a specific mandate around storage, now it’s exploring for oil.”

Kubayi says she had nothing to do with a decision to explore for oil in Equatorial Guinea.

She says the department still has to identify the officials who were involved in the controversial sale of the fuel stocks.

In July, it emerged that former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson knew that a move to sell the country's oil reserves was procedurally flawed.

It's understood that Treasury alerted Joemat-Pettersson and Kubayi of the numerous discrepancies related to the transaction.

In May, Kubayi revealed to Parliament’s Energy Committee that the crude stocks had in fact been sold and not rotated as earlier suggested by Joemat-Pettersson.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)