DA to submit urgent request to subpoena Gigaba phone records

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee urgently requesting that the phone records of Minister Gigaba be subpoenaed.

The DA has no reason to believe that the Minister has been truthful in his characterization of the nature of his engagements with the Gupta family, or the number of times he met with them.

In his testimony before the committee, the Minister failed to disclose the number of occasions on which he attended functions at the invitation of the Gupta’s. He vacillated between ‘five or six’ and ‘more than once but less than five’ over the last ten years.

Minister Gigaba has been found by North Gauteng High Court to have lied under oath. His appeal in this regard was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

In a reply to a parliamentary question in April 2016 the Minister said neither he nor the Deputy Minister had “knowingly held any official meetings with persons who are, or who are associates of or employees of any persons whose surname or family name is Gupta.”

This statement needs to be interrogated in light of the Minister’s testimony in the inquiry last night that invitations to events were extended to him through his office rather than personally, which he claims he attended for reasons of “social cohesion”. He claimed that he had no personal relationship with the Gupta’s.

If the Minister claims to have no personal relationship with the Gupta’s and that he has not held any official meetings with them, what exactly is the nature of his engagement with the Gupta family? The Minister was defensive and evasive in his responses when these questions were put to him in the inquiry last night, fueling doubts about his commitment to full disclosure of the truth.

In the past, captured individuals have been exposed by the forensic examination of the phones, allowing the truth to be ventilated.

An example of this was the exposure of Brian Molefe by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report. It was the Public Protector’s examination of his records that finally gave South Africans assurance of the truth.

We encourage Minister Gigaba to fast-track this process by submitting his mobile devices for forensic examination of his own volition. This is the most credible method of refreshing the Minster’s memory, and of corroborating his account to the satisfaction of the committee and the nation.

South Africans must know the whole truth if we are to close the chapter of State Capture in our history. The DA will spare no effort in ensuring that justice takes its full course, and that the truth is uncovered in its entirety.

Eskom needs to change tack to bring stability and growth

The release of Eskom’s financials on Monday painted a dire picture of the state of affairs at the power utility. The new board, Chairman and CEO who have recently taken over the reins, need to show a radical shift in approach if they are to have any hope of turning the failing entity around. It can never be business as usual at Eskom.

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, and Eskom executives need to stand firm and not waiver with a no-nonsense approach to Eskom. Currently, Eskom is bloated and inefficient. With over 48 000 employees, salary costs are spiralling out of control and becoming unsustainable.

An area which has contributed to the stagnation at Eskom is the lack of accountability for those who have been implicated in corruption. Eskom executives need to follow through with charges and disciplinary action, as well as reclaiming money from entities and individuals that have spirited away billions from Eskom through corruption and State Capture.

The DA has laid a number of charges against Eskom officials and related parties. These include:

  • In November 2016 – charges against former CEO, Brian Molefe, for his alleged part in State Capture;
  • In November 2016 – charges against the Eskom Board and Trillian for their alleged role in corruption;
  • In March 2017 – charges against former Acting CEO, Matshela Koko, for his alleged role in State Capture;
  • In July 2017 – charges against former CFO, Anoj Singh, for his alleged role in State Capture; and
  • In September 2017- charges against Trillian, Mckinsey, Just Coal and SAP for their alleged roles in corrupt activities at Eskom

We encourage Eskom to file supplementary affidavits to support our charges if they are serious about cleaning up the power utility

Further to this, the DA is currently in the process of drafting a Private Members Bill which will see Eskom being broken up into two separate entities: a transmission public entity, which will manage the entire grid and transmission lines, and a generating entity which will be privatised. This will create space for energy companies to compete with Eskom on an equal footing and it will improve the performance and efficiency of the sector.

The DA also calls on Minister Gordhan to consult the Auditor-General and provide a concrete plan with regards to reducing irregular expenditure at the entity. With over R19 billion in irregular expenditure, Eskom is on a collision course with investors and financiers.

Eskom is in this dismal state due to years of corruption, financial mismanagement and compromised Ministerial oversight. The task to turnaround the entity is enormous but urgent if we are to move the economy forward.

With 9.5 million people unemployed, the economy needs a well-functioning and efficient energy sector to stimulate job creation. The DA will continue to explore every avenue to ensure that South Africa has an efficient and transparent Eskom.

DA to lay criminal charges against Transnet CEO for billions wasted on train deal

The DA will lay criminal charges against Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama, former CEO Brian Molefe and former Freight Rail Chief Procurement Officer, Thamsanqa Jiyane, following revelations in a report by law firm, Werksmans Attorneys, that they may have breached the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) on the billion rand ‘Traingate’.

The DA further calls on the Transnet Board to suspend Gama with immediate effect pending an investigation into the circumstances that saw the train deal inflated from R38.6 billion to R54.5billion.

The report states that the procurement process for the locomotive deal “identifies serious breaches of statutes, regulations, corporate governance and unlawful conduct in relation to the transaction – involving billions of rand”.

This case must be investigated without fear or favour so that those found guilty of wrongdoing can be held to account.

Transnet has been in a mess for far too long. It is vital that it is restored so it can deliver on its mandate to run the country’s freight system effectively and that it contributes to economic growth by delivering goods, not compromising it.

Corruption has become the norm under the ANC, no matter who leads the organisation and must be stamped out as it steals from South Africans, especially the poor.

This will only happen when the ANC is voted out and the people vote for change so that the DA can extend its good delivery record to the rest of South Africa.

Eskom must confirm whether Brian Molefe has repaid his “golden handshake”

The Chairperson of the Eskom Board, Jabu Mabuza, must confirm whether disgraced former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, has paid back the part of the “golden handshake” he received from the power utility.

On 17 April, Mr Molefe lost an appeal to pay back around R11 million he had received from Eskom as part of his ridiculous R30 million pension pay-out.

The court ordered that Mr Molefe pay back the money.

The 10-day deadline given by the court has now come and gone. Eskom must now confirm whether he has in fact paid back the money.

If not, Eskom must detail what steps they have taken or will be taking to ensure the millions have been recovered from Mr Molefe.

In 2016, both the Former Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown and the previous Eskom Board acknowledged Molefe’s resignation. In fact, subsequent to his resignation, he took up another position as an ANC Member of Parliament where he served on the Portfolio Committees on Economic Development and International Relations and Cooperation.

Thus, Molefe’s ridiculous assertion that he remained an Eskom employee following his departure from the utility, is simply untrue.

All the facts point towards Mr Molefe’s contract with Eskom having ceased and he has no right to such an exorbitant pension pay-out. The court confirmed this.

Eskom has a duty to inform the public whether Mr Molefe has returned the millions he was not entitled to receive, and the court ordered him to repay.

DA welcomes dismissal of Brian Molefe “golden handshake” appeal

The DA welcomes the dismissal of former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe’s, appeal against the ruling in January 2018 that he pay back the part of theR11 million pension pay-out he had already received.

It was clear to the DA that Mr Molefe’s preposterous application had no chance of success and the court was entirely correct to dismiss it.

Molefe’s insistence that his return to Eskom was not a reinstatement but a continuation of his contract is completely fictional. He had clearly resigned at the end of 2016, a fact which was acknowledged by both Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, and the then Eskom Board. He himself said that he was “stepping down” and then took up a position in Parliament.

He is therefore not entitled to extravagant pension benefits, whether R11 million or more.

This ruling is not the end of Molefe’s worries however as the DA has laid criminal charges against Molefe and it is now time for the NPA to step up and prosecute him to the full extent of the law.

DA welcomes NPA’s action against Guptas

The DA welcomes that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has taken action against the State Capture brothers, the Guptas, by serving a summons to preserve assists worth approximately R1.6 billion.

This is not as not as a result of Shaun Abrahams, who tried to stall, but as a result of pressure and hard work of the AFU team under Adv. Knox Molelle.

The DA has doggedly pursued those suspected of being involved in the project of State Capture with a number of us laying criminal charges against key individuals, which we trust assisted the Hawks and now the NPA in their investigations and decision to pursue the Gupta’s albeit rather delayed.

These charges included:

  • In September 2017, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, laid criminal charges of fraud, racketeering and collusion against global consultancy firm, McKinsey, in terms of Section 21 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act after it appeared that McKinsey allegedly ignored warnings from senior South African staff members, that the deals done with Trillian, Eskom and other Gupta-linked companies were not above board;

 

  • In July 2017, she also laid criminal charges against Eskom’s Chief Financial Officer, Anoj Singh, for breaches of Section 50 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA) for his alleged role in the Guptas’ capture of Eskom through the Tegeta agreement and the Trillion contracts;

 

  • In the same month, Natasha Mazzone laid charges of charges of money laundering and corruption against the South African component of global software giant, SAP, and Gupta-affiliated company CAD House, following allegations of R100 million in kickbacks changed hands between the two companies;

 

  • In July 2017, David Maynier laid charges of money laundering, fraud, corruption, racketeering against Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, Ronica Ragavan and Kamal Vasram, in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, following revelations that public funds were used to pay for Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia’s wedding at Sun City in 2013;

 

  • In July 2017, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane and DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, laid charges of in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Activities Act, relating to the findings of the State Capture Report against the Gupta-family, President Jacob Zuma, Brian Molefe and Mosebenzi Zwane; and

 

  • In June 2017, I laid charges of money laundering, fraud, corruption, against the Gupta’s and their associates in relation to the Estina dairy farm matter.

This preservation order, to be served tomorrow, is only the first step in holding those responsible for looting the people’s money and we expect to see other such action against the President’s son, Duduzane Zuma, and the President himself so that they can be held accountable for their role in State Capture.

DA satisfied with court proceedings to review Molefe’s reappointment as Eskom GCEO

The DA is satisfied with yesterday’s court proceedings in the North Gauteng High Court in the review of Mr Brian Molefe’s inexplicable reappointment to Eskom as Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO).
From the proceedings yesterday it became abundantly clear that Mr Molefe did indeed resign as the GCEO of the power utility and that his insistence that he remained an employee is simply unsustainable.
His resignation at the end of 2016 was acknowledged by both Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, and the then Eskom Board. He himself said that he was “stepping down”. Following his resignation, Eskom proceeded to advertise the post of GCEO, and to short-list applicants. Eskom would hardly do so if it imagined that Mr Molefe had not resigned. Mr Molefe went on to get another job – as an honourable Member of Parliament. Finally, following Molefe’s return to the power utility, Eskom announced that he was reinstated as GCEO, therefore confirming that he had in fact resigned.
Molefe’s insistence that his return to Eskom was not a reinstatement but a continuation of his contract is a mockery of the public’s intelligence and a waste of the time of the courts.
All the facts point to Mr Molefe’s contract with Eskom having ceased, meaning that he is not entitled to be reappointed, nor is he entitled to extravagant pension benefits, whether R11 million or more. Indeed, the actions of the Eskom Pension Fund Administrators, in approving Mr Molefe’s pension entitlement, without even checking his age, do not reflect well on them.
Brian Molefe was heavily implicated in the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report and played a leading role in the disintegration of Eskom. His return would be disastrous, as he seems to be deeply embedded in the Guptas’ pockets.
The DA trusts that the court will ensure he does not be entitled to return to Eskom. We will continue to fight for our state-owned enterprises to be led by effective leaders who have the best interest of the public at heart, not those of a corrupt few.

‘Colonel’ Molefe’s appointment letter must be made public

The DA will write to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to request that former Eskom boss of Saxonwold Shebeen infamy, Brian Molefe’s, appointment letter be made public so that there can be clarity over whether he is a Reservist or an Honourary Colonel.
We will also request proof of the courses that Molefe has done, which Arm of Service he is attached to and why he has been called up on a continuous basis.
Reports revealed that Molefe has been appointed as an Honourary Colonel in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at R57 000 a month, despite having virtually no military experience.
A person cannot be an Honourary Colonel while also being an ‘active’ Reserve Force member. You are either one or the other.
Moreover, an Honourary appointment is not a paid position and should not be remunerative. However, if you are called up as a reservist, you should be paid according to your rank.
This curious appointment is also at odds with the fact that the South African Army is laying off Reserve Force members and using them only on a non-continuous basis.
The appointment letter is the definitive answer to clarifying the possible ‘jobs for pals’ appointment.

Public Protector must investigate decision on Molefe R30 million ‘golden handshake’

The Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has taken exception to the statement released yesterday and accused the DA of spreading false information and leaking confidential information.
It is a fact that the Minister ordered the money to be repaid. However, we do not know if this has happened and indeed, the DA believes that the Public Protector must, in any event, investigate the circumstances in which the Eskom Board came to the decision to pay former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, the R30 million ‘golden handshake’.
On the face of it, this constitutes an abuse of public power if not an attempt at the unlawful enrichment of Mr Molefe.
If indeed Mr Molefe has paid back the R30 million, then we will gladly retract the call for him to do so.
With respect to the allegations of leaking confidential correspondence, we would respectfully request the Public Protector to advise us which provisions of law she believes the DA have breached in relation to the correspondence released yesterday. We can find no infringement of the Public Protector Act.
The office of the Public Protector has a vitally important role to play in investigating serious abuses of public power and the DA is always willing to support the office in doing so.

Public Protector agrees to DA’s request to investigate Brain Molefe

The DA can confirm that the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has agreed to investigate the disgraced former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, for the R30 million ‘golden handshake’ he received from the power utility.
The DA requested the investigation after it emerged that the Eskom board approved a R30 million pension payout to Molefe after only 18 months as CEO of Eskom.
Following the public outrage surrounding the irregular “golden handshake” which later became a “performance bonus”, and then a “pension payout” – this investigation is long overdue.
This outrageous payout is a gross abuse of public funds, especially after Molefe resigned “in the interests of good corporate governance” after his close ties to the Guptas were revealed in the damning State of Capture Report.
Molefe does not deserve the R30 million. In fact, he does not deserve a single cent. He must pay back every dime of the R30 million to Eskom.
Eskom is in deep financial trouble and the R30 million could go a long way in bringing much-needed stability at the power utility.
It is unacceptable that an individual such as Brian Molefe, who sits deeply in the pockets of the Guptas, is rewarded not for doing a good job for the people of our country, but is paid millions for serving the interests of one family.
The DA will continue to fight to root out the deeply entrenched corruption at Eskom.
South Africans deserve public servants who work to improve their lives, not individuals who are only interested in lining their own pockets.