An investigation by the FF Plus has revealed that the FF Plus has received contradictory information regarding Dentons, the legal firm which had received R22 million to undertake an investigation into Eskom within three months.
Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Energy, says he has already expressed his doubts regarding the fact that the investigation, which would require underlying applicable technical and engineering knowledge as well as financial expertise, will be done by a legal firm.
In one of many questions about the investigation that Adv. Alberts had asked the minister of public enterprises, Lynne Brown, on 20 March of this year and through which he attempted to establish the impartiality of the investigation, the minister denied that the company had any prior existing relationship with Eskom.
On Dentons’ website however, the company openly boasts that it had done work for Eskom previously.
The question of Adv. Alberts asked “what measures are in place to ensure that the investigation is conducted independently and impartially?”
The reply stated that “The attorneys have not done any work for Eskom previously and do not have a prior existing relationship with Eskom”.
Adv. Alberts said it is clear that the issue is highly irregular.
“This isn’t an ordinary instruction which Dentons had received from Eskom. Dentons has been asked to do a probing investigation with the possibility of the process leading to senior heads rolling.
“Now it appears that some of these senior heads had previously possibly given Dentons work in the past and had possibly also now seen to it that the work has now again been given to the company. To top it all, Eskom will itself oversee the expensive investigation.
“It is appears that there is an improper relationship between Eskom and Dentons in terms of the investigation. The FF plus will do everything within its ability to see to it that the investigation is done by an independent body, such as the Public Protector, which we have been proposing the whole time.
The FF Plus has now requested the minster in a parliamentary question to clarify the possible irregularities. We are of the opinion that it is merely a very expensive cover-up attempt to mislead the public,” Adv. Alberts says.
Contact no.: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403
DEPARTMENT: PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION No: 1070
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20 March 2015
RESPONSE TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION NUMBER: 1070
Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises:
(1) Why no external, independent investigative team has been appointed that is able to
investigate the problems concerning Eskom impartially and without fear and report to her and to Parliament;
(2) (a) why the attorney who has been appointed to investigate the problems currently
experienced by Eskom has to give feeback to the subcommitte of the Board of Directors that is led by a certain official from Eskom (Mr Zola Tsotsi), (b) how the attorney who has to undertake the investigation was selected and (c) what (i) are the qualifications of the relevant attorney that qualify him or her to undertake the investigation, (ii) are the costs relating to the investigation and (iii) the task of the attorney will comprise;
(3) what measures are in place to ensure that the investigation is conducted
independently and impartially? NW1231E
An independent law firm, Dentons, has been appointed to conduct the inquiry.
(a) Feedback has to be given to the Audit and Risk Committee, as it was delegated by the Board to act as custodian of the inquiry.
(2) (b) The law firm was selected in accordance with Eskom’s procurement processes.
(2) (c) (i) The law firm is a multi disciplinary firm with a broad skills base.
(2) (c) (ii) The costs have been capped at R22 million.
(2) (c) (iii) The task is to conduct an investigation and make findings/recommendations to Eskom.
The attorneys have not done any work for Eskom previously and do not have a prior existing relationship with Eskom.