EFF to press Gordhan about Mabuza’s dual posts at Eskom

The Economic Freedom Fighters announced in a statement on Tuesday that it would write to the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan asking that he urgently explain and justify Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza's appointment as interim CEO of the power utility.

Eskom announced on Monday evening that Mabuza would serve in the dual roles for three months while the power utility tries to find a permanent CEO. This follows Phakamani Hadebe's resignation in May. Hadebe leaves on July 31.

In its statement, the EFF said too many chairpersons had been allowed to serve as CEOs at the same time, which went against sound governance principles - even if the said executive occupies one of the positions in an acting capacity.

"The EFF will urgently write parliamentary questions and letters to the ministry of public enterprises to ask what the legal basis is for the minister single-handedly appointing Jabu Mabuza as acting CEO and Executive Chairperson," the statement said.

The EFF maintained that Mabuza's 6% shareholding of Sphere Investment, which owns shares in Honeywell and Babcock, have maintenance contracts with Eskom.

While Mabuza's shareholding has been declared and is held in blind trust, the EFF insists that this constitutes a conflict of interest on Mabuza's part.

The EFF also referred to Themba Langa, a relative of Mabuza's wife who is involved in a mining joint venture. Mabuza has maintained at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that he did not sit in on meetings involving coal procurement and did not seek to use his position at Eskom improperly.

The EFF also took aim at Mabuza's competence for the position, saying they saw little sign of improvement at the utility under Mabuza's watch in his capacity as chairperson.

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