The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) can only investigate Eskom’s Gupta-linked coal deal if President Jacob Zuma gives the go-ahead, say constitutional experts.
Yesterday, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reiterated her intention to refer the Tegeta coal deal and all Eskom procurement from 2007 onwards to the unit.
But according to experts Pierre de Vos and Shadrack Gutto, this unit reports to the president.
Brown’s announcement came after the ANC NEC called for a judicial inquiry into allegations of state capture.
“The SIU can only investigate if the president promulgates that investigation. The SIU does report back to the president and the idea is also to have them report, if there is a criminal (element) to the relevant police or the NPA,” said De Vos.
Gutto, who agreed, said the current calls by the ANC and Treasury to have a judicial inquiry into the allegations of state capture, which implicate Eskom executives and Tegeta, were likely diversion tactics.
He said that any inquiry or investigation initiated or signed off by Zuma would lack credibility and require deep scrutiny.
“It is precisely because of this that the former public protector recommended the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should appoint a commission for a judicial inquiry not the president, because he was going to be part of those investigations,” said Gutto.
Yesterday the Eskom board and its CEO, Brian Molefe, appeared before parliament to answer questions regarding coal deals at the utility.
Molefe told parliament he was not involved in the Tegeta deal as it was supposedly signed off before he became CEO.