Scopa calls for Eskom to speed up investigations into its officials
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Cape Town - The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has called on Eskom to investigate any allegations levelled against officials, and to avoid delays in the hearings.
This was after Eskom presented its report to Scopa on Tuesday that cleared its chief executive, Andre de Ruyter, following allegations of racism made by former chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano.
Tshitangano was dismissed late last month after he was found guilty of misconduct.
Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they would meet to discuss the report later.
EFF MP Ntombovuyo Mente said despite the report from Eskom, Scopa would meet later to do its own work on the matter.
The matter was initially tabled before Scopa last year, but it was shelved after it emerged that Eskom had appointed a senior counsel to conduct an investigation.
This was after Tshitangano had written to Scopa and accused De Ruyter of racism.
But Eskom chairperson Professor Malegapuru Makgoba said the report had cleared De Ruyter of racism allegations.
Hlengwa said they have received the report and Eskom should have investigated the allegations immediately.
He said the matter had landed on Scopa’s desk last year and had only been finalised now.
“As a rule of thumb, agency and expediency on the challenges and allegations must be dealt with and dispensed with because they become an albatross. It becomes a problem, a stumbling block. Mente is correct that we will deal with the substantive issues in due course,” said Hlengwa.
Mente said Scopa had shelved the investigation to give Eskom an opportunity to conduct its own probe.
“Their report is now concluded and therefore it means we have to sit with their report, go through their terms of reference, which from the beginning I had indicated have nothing to do with the expenditure framework. We as the committee still have to continue with our own investigation on the matters raised pertaining to these complaints. Some of these are very serious and find themselves in the expression we are supposed to be dealing with today. I have no issue with their report, it’s the Eskom report. We will continue with ours,” said Mente.
ANC MP Mervyn Dirks said the Eskom Board should have investigated the allegations immediately after they emerged.
He said when Tshitangano made the allegations that should have gone to the board for an investigation. That was the issue lawmakers had, he said.
Makgoba said when the issues were presented to him he found no basis for the allegations.
“I had actually investigated all these matters that were raised and I had come to the conclusion that these were not matters that required the board’s investigation, but could be handled internally through Eskom’s grievance processes,” said Makgoba.