R1.2m Eskom tenders: Tufvesson denies benefiting from oil contracts

Dr Ingrid Tufvesson (SANEDI)
Dr Ingrid Tufvesson (SANEDI)

Cape Town - Ingrid Tufvesson has denied that she benefited from a R1.2m Eskom oil tender awarded to a company where she is a director, following a Sunday Times report. 

Tufvesson, an academic and transformation consultant, is the romantic partner of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

“I also state categorically that I have not earned one cent from any Eskom related deals or contracts from eSmart Solutions and also do not want anything from it at all,” said Tufvesson in a media statement in the early afternoon. 

The Sunday Times earlier reported that the state power utility had awarded two contracts worth a combined R1.2m to E Smart Solutions, which has as its three directors Ingrid Tufvesson, Michelle McMaster and Serisa Bernice Davids.

E Smart Solutions (also written as eSmart Solutions) does not have any history in the oil or energy sectors. 

In her statement Tufvesson said she had already attempted to resign from the company last year. 

Trying to resign 

“I verbally and formally informed Michelle McMaster, the founding owner and Executive Director of eSmart, of my resignation from her company on 13 December 2016,” she wrote.

“She repeatedly delayed finalisation of my resignation by consistently failing to provide me with relevant documentation to terminate my association with her company, which further led to disagreements between us about my resignation and its process.”

Tufvesson said she had resigned as a non-operational director of eSmart Solutions on Friday.

“I resigned because of the inability of the company to fulfill its purported mandate, its lack of good corporate governance, and its prevalent secrecy, which are all elements of a culture that I cannot be associated with,” she said.

She called on McMaster to “put the facts straight” adding she was seeking legal advice. 

McMaster is reportedly the mother (and Serisa Davids the sister) of Brown’s former personal assistant Kim Davids.

Brown parted ways with her assistant Davids in early August following a #GuptaLeaks report by amaBhungane and Scorpio, that revealed Davids had been flown by the Guptas to a meeting in Dubai in December 2015.

The minister noted that at time that Davids' axing was not an expression of her guilt.

Fin24 could not reach immediately reach McMaster for comment on Tufvesson’s allegations. She had, however, told the Sunday Times that Tufvesson hadn’t signed the documents to resign yet. 

The DA on Sunday said it would refer Brown to the office of the Public Protector in the wake of the Sunday Times article. 

DA spokesperson for public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said in a statement the party would also refer Brown to Parliament’s ethics oversight committee.

On Sunday Brown’s spokesperson Colin Cruywagen referred Fin24 to E Smart Solutions for comment.

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