Brian Molefe Transnet

Brian Molefe / File Photo

Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom recommends criminal prosecutions

Individuals implicated in wrongdoing have been given 14 days to reply to the allegations.

Brian Molefe Transnet

Brian Molefe / File Photo

The parliamentary inquiry into the embattled affairs of Eskom has recommended criminal proceedings and investigations as methods of practical redress.

The protracted inquiry, overseen by the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, tabled its preliminary report on Wednesday. Committee chairperson, Zukiswa Rantho, confirmed that the current state of decay within the power utility was a direct result of corruption and nepotism which forms part of the greater issue of state capture.

As reported by eNCA, while Rantho refused to divulge too much information relating to the preliminary report, the committee chairperson confirmed that the inquiry had uncovered dubious criminal dealings, saying:

“We got to the bottom of what happened at the entity. There are criminal proceedings that we think we should put in and criminal investigations.”

Rantho also confirmed that Eskom employees identified in the preliminary report, as being part of the entity’s gross financial mismanagement, have been contacted and informed of the inquiry’s findings. Individuals implicated in wrongdoing have been given 14 days to reply to the allegations.

The Eskom inquiry drags on

The Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom’s misgivings, instituted as a result of dubious deals undertaken during the infamous tenure of former executive, Brian Molefe, has exposed connections to the Gupta family, Duduzane Zuma and a host of other high ranking officials which were complicit in ‘selling off’ the state owned enterprise in an attempt to enrich themselves.

The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has referred its preliminary report into Eskom to political parties who will now have an opportunity to add information to the docket. Rantho said that members of parliament were content with the inquiry’s initial findings.

Eskom crippled by corruption

Eskom is in the depths of a deep financial and operational crisis exemplified by gross irregular expenditure, coal shortages, burgeoning debt, looming industrial action and the mass resignation of top officials.

Most of these issues can be traced back to the entity’s dodgy dealings with the Gupta family under the tenure of Molefe.

In an attempt to stave off complete financial collapse, Eskom was recently granted permission to increase electricity tariffs by 4%. This amount could rise to 19% should the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) grant the embattled utility it’s second tariff increase request which is currently being considered.

The tariff increases are expected to come into effect in April 2019.