Scopa chair warns cops over lack of urgency in Eskom case

Scopa chair warns cops over lack of urgency in Eskom case

Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts Mkhuleko Hlengwa has warned the police to act with more urgency on allegations of criminality at Eskom or face losing the trust of the public.

Screenshot: YouTube

Hlengwa addressed National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola during the Wednesday meeting that was meant to hear from Brigadier Jap Burger about his interactions with Eskom’s former CEO Andre de Ruyter over claims of corruption and maladministration.

Burger was a no-show.

“If the grid collapses because of the criminality going on at Eskom the character and strength of the SAPS will be tested in every part of the country and at this point, I am not certain that you will pass and that should raise alarm bells,” warned Hlengwa.

Members of Parliament were left unimpressed by Burger’s failure to make his input in Scopa’s investigation into whether an inquiry should be set up to look into the damning allegations made by De Ruyter during an explosive television interview in February.

When he appeared before the committee in April, the former CEO said he had met with Burger to discuss his findings, and this was corroborated by Masemola who confirmed that he had delegated Burger to meet with the former CEO.

However, on Wednesday, Masemola said Burger had not been given the private investigation report upon which De Ruyter based a majority of his claims. He said the officer had given him verbal feedback about his engagements with De Ruyter.

The claim was questioned by Scopa member Bheki Hadebe, who said the commissioner gave the impression that the matter was not being treated with the seriousness it deserves.

“I don’t think it’s the way to go that you get a report of this magnitude by word of mouth. Is that the protocol for processing information of this magnitude and sensitive nature?”

He added that Masemela should have had a written report from Burger to prepare for his own appearance before the committee.

“I thought by now you would have met formerly with Brig Burger [for him] to take you through the steps taken since his appointment; that report will be furnished to you in writing; you would be appraised of all the challenges, successes, bottlenecks in relation to this case in writing – not a written report.

After citing security concerns around his public appearance before the committee, the Scopa chairperson said he would consult with Parliament’s legal team to establish whether Brigadier Burger may appear in-camera.

Hlengwa insisted Burger must address the committee himself as he is a key figure in the investigation.


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