Eskom has sought to clarify the disciplinary process regarding now dismissed Chief Procurement Officers Solly Tshitangano, after a company called Econ Oil rejected reports on News24 that it was irregularly awarded an R8 billion contract by Tshitangano.
In a statement, Econ Oil says the article gives the false impression that Econ Oil director Nothemba Mlonzi admitted to wrongdoing based on an affidavit submitted by Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter.
Tshitangano was dismissed following an independent inquiry that found him guilty on five charges including contravening the Public Finance Management Act and contravening Eskom’s Disciplinary Code.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says: “During the disciplinary process, Eskom relied on the evidence of two witnesses, together with a forensic report from law firm Bowmans. The CPO elected not to give any evidence in his own defence. His legal representative did, however, cross-examine Eskom’s witnesses.
He adds, “The Chairperson dismissed the defence based on protected disclosure, finding that it was rather an attempt on the part of the CPO to divert attention from his conduct.”
Econ Oil, in the statement, further says that it has never submitted an affidavit admitting to any of Eskom’s claims which the company is challenging in court.
It says that Eskom’s CEO contradicted himself by saying that Eskom ought to have formally commenced the supplier consideration suspension process.
The company claims that leaked email between procurement officials at Eskom revealed that Econ Oil’s competitors complained to Eskom and pressured it to change the allocation volumes.
Last year Eskom received a complaint on how the companies that were awarded fuel contracts by Eskom had engaged outside the normal procurement processes and was threatened if it did not cancel the multi-billion rand contract with Econ Oil.
Meanwhile, Eskom says load shedding will resume Sunday afternoon at 5 pm and is expected to last until 10 pm.
The power utility on Saturday night announced it would suspend load shedding overnight and during the day on Sunday because of an improvement in emergency generation reserves.
Eskom has frequently had to resort to load shedding in recent years amid a historic lack of maintenance of aging power plants and allegations of widespread corruption.
Some experts say each stage of load shedding costs the economy as much as R700-million a day.
Eskom internal executive management matters:
-Additional reporting by Naledi Matlapeng
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)