Chancellor House deal: ‘Investing is not a crime’

2014-04-27 15:00

The ANC’s investment company has defended the party’s R170?million purchase of a major Eskom supplier, despite the ruling party’s official position that it will no longer invest in companies doing business with the state.

Yesterday, the Weekend Witness in KwaZulu-Natal broke news of the deal, which saw Chancellor House invest R34?million in a transaction that gives it immediate control of 49% of Pfisterer, the Swiss-owned manufacturer of components for electrification.

It will buy out the remainder over the next 18 months.

Pfisterer’s current R550?million contract with Eskom expires later this year, and new Eskom infrastructure contracts will be awarded early next year.

Chancellor House’s Mamatho Netsianda initially denied knowing about the deal, or even of Pfisterer’s existence.

But yesterday, he defended it.

Netsianda told City Press Chancellor House had a right to invest where it wanted, despite ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize recently saying the party would no longer invest in companies that do business with the state.

“If Chancellor House invests, it is not a crime. Why are you bothering me? We didn’t break any law. You don’t have a job to do. I have a job,” he said.

Mkhize declined to comment, referring City Press to Chancellor House, whose Eskom buy-in comes a month after Hitachi Power Africa, another Eskom supplier, got rid of its ANC shareholding because of a conflict of interest.

The deal also comes on the back of Eskom asking the state for another bailout, this time for R50?billion.

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