Damning new evidence of state capture at Eskom, implicating President Jacob Zuma, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, and the Gupta family among others, is enough to urgently launch a commission of inquiry into the issue – as long ago stipulated by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
This is according to commentators, following a no-holds-barred presentation by former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi to parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises, where he described Brown to have a “a clear collusion or association” with the Guptas.
Brown, in her testimony, denied such an involvement with the family, and accused the committee of being unfair in its handling of the inquiry.
But political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said that, irrespective of Brown’s stance, the evidence presented would only count against her.
“It’s awkward … very awkward, for those being questioned and who say the committee is not credible … when in fact the same individuals have not been vocal in terms of the delayed commission of inquiry into state capture. “That is most important. You do have e-mail leaks and deputy ministers and ministers confirming the information in the leaked emails.
“So it’s either the entire society that is lying and that the ‘truth’ is in the monopoly of the Guptas. “Or you could say there is something quite credible and quite serious because the circumstantial evidence does actually prove that something has gone fundamentally wrong,” said Fikeni.
“You have the likes of McKinsey returning a R1 billion, Bell Pottinger being found guilty in their own country and KPMG having somewhat admitted guilt … and yet you have the role players saying there is nothing wrong.
“Everyone else is to blame except them taking any accountability?” Fikeni said “given this web of things”, the testimonies were increasingly beginning to ring the alarm bells for an independent commission of inquiry into state capture.
“Parliament is lifting the lid – the notion that it was biased is no longer there. All the key evidence leaders are presenting their sides and some (who are called before it) are evasive.
I do think this may be more damaging for Brown unless she comes up with a very solid explanation.
“The consistency and repetition of her name does suggest that there is a lot that may actually be extracted from her.” With Zuma and the Guptas’ name constantly being brought up, Fikeni said it would remain to be seen if they would be called beGupta accused me of dealing with uBaba’s enemies – Eskom’s Tsotsi fore the committee.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said it is “not surprised by the revelations” provided by Tsotsi regarding political meddling and interference by Zuma and others in the executive.
“There have been numerous appointments and removals of people that makes no sense over the past few years, all of which has signalled a clear plan to fit the state capture agenda,”
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said. “Tsotsi’s input is in line with that of the Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma and that of Suzanne Daniels, Eskom’s ex-head of legal, all of whom are sharing the same narrative: that the president and Minister Brown are all implicated in channelling projects, tenders and contracts to connected companies that will benefit from operational and capital expenditure within the state owned entity. This modus operandi has been exposed at SAA, SABC, Prasa, Transnet and others,” Duvenage said.
“The question that requires answering is what will the ruling party’s executive do about removing or impeaching Jacob Zuma from their ranks, so that we can start the journey of purging the corruption rot from within the ranks of government?”