The allegations by unsuccessful Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) bidder, DNG Power Holdings CEO Aldworth Mbalati, in court papers filed before the Pretoria High Court about the involvement of family members of Minister Gwede Mantashe and senior Department of Mineral Resources and Energy officials in the bid process, must now trigger an urgent and comprehensive investigation into the bid adjudication and the scoring of the bidders. Further muddying the waters are reports that one of the successful bidders, Karpowerships SA, has entered into a BBBEE agreement in which one of the major beneficiaries is a former special advisor to the ex-Ministers of State Security David Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo.
When the DA called for such an investigation in the Mineral Resources and Energy parliamentary portfolio committee meeting on Wednesday, it was dismissed by the ANC as being outside the scope of the committee’s responsibilities – despite it clearly being a project of the department, and well within the committee’s mandate. The DA has now written to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to request this investigation.
The involvement of politically connected individuals is strongly reminiscent of other large financial transactions (e.g. Khusile, Medupi, the arms deal and Nkandla) and suggests that, for all the platitudes and promises of President Ramaphosa at the Zondo Commission, state capture is alive and well, and being facilitated and covered up by the ANC.
DA Leader John Steenhuuisen will now write to President Ramaphosa, requesting that he makes good on his word. We will call on him to refer this matter to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), and that while it is under investigation, he suspend Minister Mantashe, whose fingers appear all over this debacle.
South Africa needs electricity, not crooked tenders and corrupt politicians.
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