5 December 2017

South Africa: #eskominquiry Hits Out At Singh for 'Undermining' Parliament

Photo: EskomSouthAfrica
Eskom Megawatt Park.

Controversial former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh was sharply criticised by Parliament's oversight committee on public enterprises on Tuesday for not submitting documents to the committee on time.

"I want you to register our disappointment," the committee's chair Daphne Rantho told Singh.

She said he was given six months to prepare his documents.

"You seem to have undermined the work of Parliament," said Rantho.

Rantho said Singh only submitted a 400 page bundle of documents to the committee at 23:00 on Monday night.

"We are going to give you another date when you should come to the committee and come to account on money spent on Eskom," said Rantho.

"We are therefore not going to continue with you today," said Rantho.

Singh, a former top Transnet and Eskom executive, was suspended by the power utility in late September, after being placed on special leave at the end of July. His exit followed mounting allegations that he was involved in irregularly awarding contracts to Gupta-linked businesses, while also receiving gifts and trips from the controversial family.

An investigative report by amaBhungane and Scorpio, co-published by Fin24 in early September, reported that the Gupta family had bankrolled six or seven luxury Dubai stays for Singh, and even "opened a shell company for Singh in a highly secretive United Arab Emirates jurisdiction".

In July, meanwhile, before he was placed on special leave, Singh denied ever taking bribes. He promised the media he would produce a "tell-all document" which he has not yet done.

The DA's Natasha Mazzone said that Singh's conduct was "shameful".

"We will not be stopped, we will not be halted, we will not take this as a clever legal move," said Mazzone.

"We will see you in January," she said.

She noted that Singh's legal team had been present at the inquiry from the start.

'Singh and his buddies'

Mzingisi Dlamini of the EFF said the committee was not scared of what he termed "Singh and his buddies".

"Those that he pays off R600m at night. We are going to go to them one by one - we are gong to start with him," he said, pointing at Singh.

"You must pass that message to your buddies as well," he said.

Other MP's expressed similar sentiments.

Singh is expected to again appear before the committee in 2018. The first 2018 parliamentary term is scheduled to start on January 23 according to Parliament's latest calender.

Source: Fin24

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