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18 Feb 2009 13:40
Valli Moosa, the then chairperson of the Eskom board, failed to manage a conflict of interest in the awarding of a contract for the Medupi power station, the Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana said on Wednesday.
Briefing the media in Pretoria, Mushwana said the public protector on its own initiative investigated allegations that Moosa had acted improperly in awarding the contract for the Medupi power station to the Hitachi Consortium.
This was as the African National Congress (ANC), of which Moosa was a member of the National Executive Committee, had an interest in the company.
“Mr Moosa failed to manage his said conflict of interest in compliance with a conflict of interest policy of Eskom, and therefore acted improperly.”
Although there was a conflict of interest, the awarding of the contract was not unlawful.
This had been substantiated by two independent forensic audits.
“The contract that was awarded to the Hitachi Consortium was not in any way affected by Moosa’s improper conduct. The awarding of the contract by Eskom to an entity to which the ruling party has an interest was not unlawful,” said Mushwana.
He said the watchdog found it was desirable that the conducting of business between government institutions, public entities and political parties should be regulated by legislation.
It was recommended that Eskom’s company secretary take “urgent steps” to ensure that all its members of the board be provided with a conflict of interest policy and guidelines.
“It is recommended that the minister of public enterprises considers developing legislation for submission to Parliament to regulate the conducting of business between government entities and political parties,” said Mushwana.—Sapa
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