NEWS

Gigaba And Brown Appointed Gupta Allies to SOEs

Leaked emails show how Malusi Gigaba and Lynne Brown allegedly allowed the Guptas to infiltrate state-owned enterprises.

07/06/2017 08:55 SAST | Updated 07/06/2017 08:55 SAST
Rogan Ward / Reuters
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaks at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 in Durban on May 4 2017.

The Gupta emails have revealed the extent to which Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his predecessor at the ministry of public enterprises, Lynne Brown, played a role in appointing Gupta-aligned people to key positions, Business Day reported.

Leaked emails reportedly reveal how the Guptas appear to have benefited from Gigaba's presence in government from when he was appointed public enterprises minister in November 2010 to when he was moved to the department of home affairs in 2014.

Gupta-linked directors were reportedly appointed by Gigaba to the boards of Denel, Eskom and Transnet.

According to Business Day, the directors include Iqbal Sharma, who Gigaba appointed to the board of Transnet in December 2010. Cabinet reportedly vetoed Gigaba's moves to appoint him as board chairman, but Gigaba then created Transnet's acquisitions and disposals board.

Sharma reportedly oversaw the awarding of R25 billion in tenders to China South Rail, from which the Guptas are reported to have benefited.

That tender was reportedly signed off by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe, who Gigaba appointed as chief executive of Transnet in 2011.

In July 2012, Gigaba reportedly appointed Anoj Singh as Transnet chief financial officer, and Singh reportedly also signed off on Gupta-linked contracts. Brown oversaw Singh's appointment as Eskom's chief financial officer in October 2015.

Business Day reported that Brown appointed Mark Pamensky to Eskom's board in March 2014. Until May 2017, Pamensky reportedly was on the board of Oakbay Investments, a Gupta firm.

Gigaba declined to comment.

Brown's spokesperson, Colin Cruywagen, told Business Day:

"Since January, Minister Brown has repeatedly called for further investigation of allegations raised in the State of Capture report to spare state-owned companies further reputational damage. Recent pronouncements on this matter by the ruling party, the president and the Hawks will come as a great relief to the state-owned companies."