Johannesburg – ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has lashed out at Eskom, saying it does not take a rocket scientist to see that its transaction deal with the Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources was “corrupt”.
“If you have read the public protector’s report you would see that the trip by Minister (of Mineral Resources) Mosebenzi Zwane to Switzerland to negotiate that the Optimum Colliery be given to Tegeta was corrupt and it is the ANC that should say so,” Mantashe told ANC members at Ncumisa Khondlo Community Hall in Peddie, near Grahamstown, on Friday.
He was in the area to deliver a memorial lecture on the life and times of former ANC president Oliver Reginald Tambo.
Mantashe said he had no problem with the Gupta family doing business with people in South Africa “but there’s a problem when the wealth of our country is not benefiting black South Africans”.
“Also, I have a problem when the very same Gupta family dictates on what the state should be doing because by doing so they are abusing a power that is not theirs,” he said.
“Our wealth must benefit black South Africans if Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is in accordance with its formulation. You cannot take our wealth to Guptas and call that BEE. That is incorrect,” Mantashe said.
He said it was also “worrying” that the organs of state were being used to fight political battles.
“That should worry us all, or else we will turn into a Mafia state. When there is corruption, the ANC must say so because if we fail to do that, we are going to lose the support of our people,” said Mantashe.
Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe denied any corruption in the Eskom-Tegeta deal during a press conference this week. He accused former public protector Thuli Madonsela of not giving him a chance to explain himself.
Mantashe said he supported Madonsela’s recommendations of a judicial commission of inquiry into the State of Capture report. “Such a commission will go into the bottom of the problems we are faced with,” said Mantashe.
The Sunday Independent