New SARS legal head was named in State of Capture report

2017-02-02 19:50
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Mkhwebane considers legal action against DA for spy allegations

2017-02-02 13:06

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says she has given notice to oppose President Jacob Zuma’s state capture report review.WATCH

Johannesburg - The new executive in charge of legal affairs at South African Revenue Service (SARS) was named in the Public Protector's State of Capture report as part of a team that made a submission recommending that Eskom give a tender to controversial Gupta company, Tegeta.

Advocate Neo Tsholanku was made the acting chief officer of legal counsel at SARS on Wednesday.

In a memo sent to all SARS staff by commissioner Tom Moyane on Wednesday, it was announced that the chief officer in charge of legal counsel, Kosie Louw, had left and SARS was in the process of finding his replacement.

"In the interim, I have pleasure in confirming that Advocate Neo Tsholanku, currently the Group Executive: Criminal Investigations will serve as Acting Chief Officer: Legal Counsel while the recruitment process is underway," the memo states.

Tsholanku, who was previously the legal services general manager at Eskom, was named in the State of Capture report under the investigation into Eskom's deal with Tegeta and Optimum Coal Holdings.

Tegeta is partly owned by the Gupta family through Oakbay Investments, but smaller stakes are owned by President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane Zuma, businessman Salim Essa and a company registered in the United Arab Emirates.

READ: Mkhwebane seeking legal advice on Zuma's review of 'State of Capture' report

Eskom paying double

Tegeta's purchase of Optimum from Glencore has been muddied by allegations of political interference and favouritism.

The report showed that Tegeta supplies the Arnot Power Station with coal at a cost of R580 per ton with delivery costs, making it one of the most expensive contracts Eskom has.

Tegeta's six-month contract is worth nearly R700m.

On average Eskom pays R231 per ton of coal, making Tegeta's coal more than double the average price.

Despite this Tegeta was given a 10-year contract to supply coal to the Majuba power station and another supply contract for the Hendrina power station.

AmaBhungane revealed in October that at a tender committee meeting Eskom executives agreed to give Tegeta Exploration and Resources a R587m contract to supply coal to Arnot Power Station.

The money was used, two days later, to help pay the R2.15bn purchase price for Optimum Coal.

The contract was awarded six hours after the banks refused to give the Guptas a R600m loan for their controversial Optimum Coal deal, the amaBhungane report said.

Eskom paid the money upfront and the deal was reported to the Hawks by business rescue practitioners Piers Marsden and Peter van den Steen in terms of section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

'No adverse findings'

The Public Protector's report indicated that Tsholanku was part of a team that made a submission to the board tender committee to "consent the cessation of the Hendrina coal supply agreement [CSA] between Optimum Coal Holdings and Eskom to Tegeta and Eskom".

According to the report, the submission made to the board tender committee was signed by Mr Vusi Mboweni (senior general manager: primary energy), Mr Neo Tsholanku (general manager: legal) and Mr Matchela Koko (group executive: generation).

"The document states that a risk has been identified in Tegeta's possible inability to pay the penalties levied by Eskom to OCH/OCM [Optimum Coal Holdings/ Optimum Coal Mine]."

This essentially meant that Eskom would pay Tegeta directly, instead of Optimum Coal Mine which was still being managed by business rescue practitioners.

SARS spokesperson Sandile Memela said the Public Protector made no findings "let alone adverse findings against Advocate Neo Tsholanku".

Memela said it was SARS's view that Tsholanku had not done anything untoward.

Read more on:    sars  |  eskom  |  state capture

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.