Alexkor board will be the first to act against corruption – Matona

Tshediso Matona, Alexkor interim chairperson (Supplied)
Tshediso Matona, Alexkor interim chairperson (Supplied)

The Alexkor board will be the first to act if there is any wrongdoing discovered at the state-owned diamond miner, interim chairperson Tshediso Matona has said.

Matona was leading a delegation from the state-owned enterprises at a briefing on the 2018 annual report before the portfolio committee of public enterprises on Wednesday.

Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone asked the board if they were aware of any state capture at the entity, in light of governance issues plaguing the majority of state-owned enterprises that report to the committee.

To this, Matona responded, "I can tell you if we have any evidence of any wrongdoing, we would be the first ones to act, because none of us would want to risk our reputation to be part of an operation which is not kosher, so to speak."

Matona said that when allegations or issues were raised, the board looked into these and discovered that there was "nothing untoward".

'Not pleasant' under a cloud

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is undertaking an inquiry, Matona added. "We welcome that, because it's not pleasant to work under a cloud, for any of us - it is not pleasant."

Matona said the minister would provide direction and leadership on the matter.

ANC MP Daphne Rantho, however, challenged the board to consider the investigations into Alexkor to see if indications of state capture could be found. "I am not saying you will find them – I am saying check if you will not find indications."

Based on submissions from community members to the committee, Rantho said state capture was a possibility at the entity.

"There are very intelligent people that can hide state capture," she said. "Alexkor is a company that can be captured."

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