We have nothing to hide - Eskom on Gupta coal contracts

The confrontation between Eskom and the National Treasury over coal contracts with Tegeta - a company controlled by the Gupta family - intensified today with Treasury issuing a statement attacking the state-owned utility for lack of co-operation and causing "all forms of hindrances".

Ngubane and Eskom executives appeared before the portfolio committee on public enterprises and were grilled by opposition party MPs about the contracts and about Eskom's clash with the Treasury over its reporting on them.

The Sunday Times reported that the Treasury's investigation had revealed that Eskom paid more than 130 million rand ($9 million) to a mining company owned by the Gupta family for coal the power utility could not use.

Eskom responded with a counter statement saying that Treasury had approved the extension of a deadline, Treasury chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown responded that Eskom was "lying". The spurious allegations by theSunday Times, which have are being continuously regurgitated, are therefore wholly incorrect, mischievous and misleading..

The Eskom CEO, who has been touted as the next Minister of Finance, also rejected allegations that Tegeta had delivered substandard coal.

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"I've been called worse things - I'm okay with it, my conscience is clear, we had the best intentions to comply with National Treasury".

"It's hard not to conclude that Molefe is protecting the Guptas who control Tegeta Exploration & Resources and who have threatened to interdict National Treasury from making a report‚ relating to the review‚ public following an application by myself in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (No. 2 of 2000)‚" he added.

The Eskom chair said the system of prepayments was nothing new. The third request was received on 12 April 2016. "[We were] asked to comment on a 172-page document".

Molefe went on to say having met them and considering them to be nice people does not mean they have "captured" him. The deadline given was 30 April 2016. Consequently, Eskom requested an extension to provide the information, which was granted by National Treasury. We took the same samples to the South African Bureau of Standards and they said that there is nothing wrong with this code - and those employees were suspended.

It is also true that the National Treasury has requested all contracts related to Tegeta (as noted above) and that these contracts were subject to an investigation by National Treasury. Opposition parties and analysts have speculated that Zuma may use a police investigation into Gordhan to install a more compliant head of the National Treasury and reassert his authority.

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