NEWS

Public Protector To Investigate Eskom, Transnet and Prasa After Gupta Emails

The public protector will probe claims stemming from the Gupta leaks reports.

15/06/2017 07:30 SAST | Updated 15/06/2017 07:40 SAST
Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

An alleged kickback agreement of R5,3 billion regarding the purchasing of new locomotives for Transnet and the role of then-public enterprises minister, Malusi Gigaba in appointing so-called Gupta associates to the board of Transnet are to be probed by the Public Protector.

The Public Protector announced a preliminary investigation into allegations contained in the Gupta leaks, specifically pertaining to Eskom, Prasa and Transnet, News24 reported. The Public Protector's office reportedly announced the probe late on Wednesday night.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane reportedly said the allegations point to improper or dishonest acts with respect to state owned enterprises, and improper or unlawful enrichment by public officials at these institutions.

The investigation will also investigate the reappointment of former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe.

Other allegations to be investigated at Transnet reportedly include the role payers in the procurement process for purchasing locomotives in July 2012 and allegations that public enterprises minister Lynne Brown failed to exercise the required executive oversight over Transnet and its board, according to News24.

Brown will also be investigated for her role in overseeing the board of Eskom and in the reinstatement of Molefe.

Brown's spokesman, Colin Cruywagen told News24 that Brown welcomed the probe and will cooperate.

Mkhwebane's office reportedly said it would also be investigating claims tha the Guptas received confidential information from former communications minister, Faith Muthambi. Allegations that at least two immigration officials were posted in India by the then minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to help Gupta businesses, will also be investigated.

News24 reported that the investigation would also include allegations that former acting CEO Matshela Koko channelled contracts to a company partly owned by his stepdaughter, and that he leaked a legal opinion to the Guptas.

And the investigation will reportedly also interrogate allegations by former Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, that Molefe and former Eskom Board Chairperson, Ben Ngubane, pressurised him to help the Guptas buy Glencore's coal mine in 2016.

A second investigation into Prasa is underway, and allegations pertaining to it would be included in that investigation, the Public Protector reportedly said.