SOUTH AFRICAN FINANCE MINISTER ORDERS FORENSIC PROBE INTO COAL CONTRACT OF POWER UTILITY ESKOM

PRETORIA, Finance Minsiter Malusi Gigaba says he has directed the National Treasury to carry out a forensic probe into a coal contract entered into by State-owned power utility Eskom with Tegeta Exploration and Resources in line with the contents of a report into the deal.

The contract with Tegeta, which is owned by President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and the controversial Gupta family, was probed by the National Treasury and the report was handed to Parliament’s watchdog Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in May.

Gigaba had sought to withdraw the report from Scopa earlier this week, saying it is not the final report but changed his tune on Friday. “Treasury has reviewed the enforceability of the report and the report sent to Scopa still stands,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

In April this year, it was reported that the draft report, which was submitted to Eskom, Tegeta, Scopa, the Auditor-General, and the Public Protector (Ombudsman) was leaked and proposed that a payment of 659 million Rand (about 49.1 million US dollars) to the company be converted to a loan repayable with interest.

Reportedly, this was proposed because there was no evidence that Tegeta used the money for the stated purpose of buying equipment for its mining operations.

The Tegeta report flows from an investigation by the government’s Chief Procurement Officer into contracts worth more than 10 million Rand entered into by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to establish whether each such contract complied with public procurement rules and regulations.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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