News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
24 Jan 2018
11:01 am

Gordhan: ‘Delinquent director’ Singh must be probed by state capture commission

Gosebo Mathope

Well after midnight, Singh answered a question by EFF MP Marshall Dlamini by saying 'I think.' Dlamini shot back: 'Don't think! You don't have the capacity to think.'

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan during a media briefing before he presented his 2016 Budget Vote Speech in the National Assembly on February 24, 2015 at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. Gordhan that he will be cutting government expenditure while still making R870-billion available for infrastructure development. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Nasief Manie)

Recently resigned Eskom CFO Anoj Singh must be charged for grossly violating the Public Finance and Management Act (PFMA), be declared a delinquent director and also appear before the state capture commission of inquiry to be chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

This was a submission made to the parliamentary committee looking into maladministration at Eskom by former Sars commissioner Pravin Gordhan during the committee sitting in Cape Town last night.

“Mr Singh, is self-preservation in your case trumping conscience and ethics? In other words you have to survive at all costs, including lying and misleading. All of us are receiving messages saying, ‘I know he is taking you for fools’.

“Rather than own up and help the country cleanse itself of corruption. You don’t think you wanna change your tag. Is this in the phase of all the political changes that are happening? How long do you think your story will stick?” Gordhan asked Singh.

Singh responded he was being being factual, pointed out he had resigned from Eskom and complied with the committee’s request to appear in parliament, and continued, much to Gordhan’s chagrin: “Where it was required of me to say I did this, I was happy to do so.”

“You barely took responsibility for anything. The CEO and CFO are two key people in companies. Nothing moves without the CFO participating. For seven hours, all you have said is ‘I don’t know’, ‘I don’t remember’,” Grodhan pressed on with the onslaught.

“In terms of the areas I said were not in my responsibility related primarily to legal aspects,” Singh submitted.

READ MORE: No Eskom, we never had a contract with Trillian – McKinsey

Singh was reminded he couldn’t plead ignorance, as he was “very familiar with corporate governance rules”, and was both Eskom CFO and the entity’s head of treasury. “The whole evening you have been saying, ask treasury, as if it’s some entity sitting in Dubai.”

“People like you have ignored a growing perception that corruption is eroding the South African economy,” Gordhan pointed out, to which Singh said: “I agree that corruption is a bad thing, I don’t advocate it. What I don’t agree is that I have been part of it.”

Gordhan then categorically stated Singh was a delinquent director who should be blacklisted from holding a position of board director anywhere in South Africa for a litany of transgressions and should also appear before the state capture commission of inquiry Zondo announced yesterday would resume as soon as President Jacob Zuma publishes the terms of reference.

Gordhan also dismissed Singh’s defence that he had “robust” criteria at both Eskom and Transnet. Gordhan pointed out his criteria were “weak”, as he “donated” R5 billion to Hong Kong. He was also reminded he violated Section 52 (a) and (b) for failing to inform Treasury of the guarantees to Tegeta and the payment to McKinsey and Trillian.

ANC MP Girly Nomhla Nobanda quizzed Singh on the exact nature of the transaction involving McKinsey and Trillian. Singh admitted the R1.6 billion was paid for a “corporate plan” amounting to two pages. Later during the hearing, well after midnight, he answered EFF MP Marshall Dlamini by saying: “I think.” Dlamini shot back: “Don’t think. You don’t have the capacity to think.”

Anoj Singh can’t recall if he was in Dubai with the Guptas