Cape Town - Eskom’s interim chairperson Zethembe Khoza on Monday said he “rejects with contempt” claims that he ordered State Security Minister Bongani Bongo to offer a bribe to Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader of Parliament’s Eskom inquiry, to collapse the investigation.
This weekend The Sunday Times reported that it had seen an affidavit by Vanara in which he alleged that Bongo had offered him a bribe.
According to the report, Bongo told Vanara he was instructed by Khoza to offer the bribe.
Khoza originally denied the allegations to the newspaper. On Monday he reiterated in a statement that he has “never spoken to Mr Bongo, and I have never met him”.
“I have absolutely no reason why I, or Eskom, would want to collapse the inquiry when we have been calling for such a legally-constituted platform so that we can place facts before the committee,” he said.
He added that the power utility supports the parliamentary inquiry, and that Eskom had previously written to the portfolio committee on public enterprises expressing its willingness to give evidence before the committee once the process was under way.
Earlier this month the portfolio committee on public enterprises put out a statement defending Vanara, after he was criticised by Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Ben Martins.
"Members of the Committee said Adv Vanara is doing work at the behest of the committee and in the name of Parliament. The Committee said leaders in government need to be calm about the process the inquiry is taking, as it is a process they are well acquainted with," the committee said in a joint statement on November 15.
Earlier on Monday the ANC in Parliament said it takes "serious exception to allegations of attempts to collapse this inquiry and derail the work of Parliament".
It said it would support an investigation into the alleged bribe by Parliament's ethics committee.
Meanwhile the DA on Sunday said it would write to Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to "demand protection for both members of the portfolio committee on public enterprises currently investigating allegations of state capture at Eskom as well as the witnesses appearing before the inquiry".
The committee is not set to hear evidence this week, but will meet on Wednesday to assess what it has heard and consider how to proceed with its inquiry.
Committee spokesperson Yoliswa Landu said on Monday it has made an application to hear witnesses during the week of December 5 to 8, but did not say which witnesses would be called.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER