05/12/2017 16:22 SAST | Updated 05/12/2017 16:50 SAST

State Capture Inquiry Tells Anoj Singh: 'Go Tell Your Buddies We're Not Scared'

The suspended Eskom CFO was blasted by MPs for submitting documents at the 11th hour.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and suspended CFO Anoj Singh.
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Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and suspended CFO Anoj Singh.

MPs serving on the parliamentary inquiry into state capture blasted suspended Eskom CFO Anoj Singh on Tuesday, telling him he was undermining the investigation by using delaying tactics.

This was after inquiry chairwoman Zukiswa Rantho revealed Singh had only sent his 400-page submission through at 11pm on Monday, leaving members and evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara no time to study the document.

Telling him to fly home, Rantho told Singh: "We received your documents at 11pm yesterday. We could not read a single page of what you have sent to us... We are not going to deal with you today."

She continued: "You will come back when Parliament asks you, we will give you a date. I wanted to register our disappointment. You were told six months ago [yet] you seem to have undermined the work of this committee."

MPs on the public enterprises portfolio committee, which is conducting the probe, were incensed.

ACDP MP Steve Swart condemned the late delivery of the documents, saying there had been many attempts to undermine the committee.

"We've seen death threats, we've seen attempts at bribery, MPs have been intimidated, and this is another example of undermining this committee. It is very clearly a delaying tactic and an attempt to frustrate us doing our work," he said.

The DA's Natasha Mazzone said the committee would not be stopped from doing its work.

"It is actually shameful for any South African to hold this Parliament in the contempt with which we are being held at the moment."

She noted that Singh's legal team had been present throughout the inquiry, which started in mid-October.

"This is unacceptable behaviour. And simply goes to illustrate why we are sitting in this committee. We will not be stopped... we will not take this as a clever legal move. We take it in exactly the light to which it is given to us. Shame be upon you for doing it to this Parliament," she said.

EFF MP Marshall Dlamini offered Singh a sharp warning.

"I think Singh and his buddies, they decided that they're going to undermine this Parliament. So he must go and tell them that we're not scared of them. We're going to go to them one by one. We're going to start with you. You're going to give us proper answers."

Singh was suspended three months ago, after being placed on special leave in July.

The frequent turnover of board members and chief executives at Eskom over the past decade has created instability and low morale, the power utility's acting board chairman Zethembe Khoza said.

"For example, in the past 10 years there have been five different chairpersons, with each of them on average serving for a period of two years. [Also], there were 10 different chief executive officers," he said.

This had resulted in "instability and low morale and the inability to execute policies... to stabilise the situation".

He assured the inquiry that Eskom governance could be stabilised.

"A new board is about to be appointed and it will be its task to appoint a permanent chief executive officer. I am confident that if the person appointed is the right fit for Eskom, [the utility] can stabilise from a governance perspective."

Over the past six weeks, the inquiry has grilled former Eskom executives and senior officials, as well as Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, on numerous allegations of gross corruption and maladministration at the power utility.

Numerous allegations have linked Singh to irregular contracts involving the Guptas, as well as having accepted gifts from the controversial family.