DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on the public protector to broaden her scope in her “state capture” investigation.
This follows reports that a contract worth in excess of R564-million was awarded by Eskom last month to an ailing coal mining company taken over by the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.
Maimane said yesterday he had written to Thuli Madonsela asking her to include the “dubious” relationship between Eskom and the Guptas’ Tegeta Exploration and Resources.
The DA leader said he found the deal “highly suspicious”, especially because Tegeta, which was placed in business rescue after projected monthly losses of R100-million, had now been saved by Eskom.
“This is yet another development in the string of under-the-table relations between the state, the Gupta family, and the Zumas.
“For the sake of completeness, the public protector’s investigation into the Gupta family and its relationship with [the] president ought to include the long-standing and complicated relationship between Gupta-owned companies and Eskom,” Maimane said.
According to City Press, Eskom paid Tegeta R700-million, inclusive of transport costs, for the supply of 1.2million tons of coal to Arnot power station over six months.
The Guptas’ Oakbay Investments owns 29% of Tegeta, and Dudu-zane’s Mabengela Investments has 28.5% of the pie.
DA spokesman Mabine Seabe said it was important the public protector investigate the matter because it related to the undue influence the Guptas allegedly had on decisions affecting the country.
Eskom board chairman Ben Ngubane rejected City Press’s allegations at the weekend, claiming the Tegeta contract was above board and that the parastatal had saved R1-billion through the deal.
“Eskom stands firm by its process undertaken to conclude extensions of its coal supply agreements with its suppliers,” he said.
He rejected accusations Eskom was unfairly favouring the Guptas.[Source: Times Live]