The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday expressed concern after the Public Protector found that former Eskom chairperson Valli Moosa acted improperly when the utility awarded a contract for the Medupi power station to the Hitachi consortium.
Former Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana found that Moosa failed to manage a conflict of interest arising from the 25% stake of African National Congress (ANC) investment company Chancellor House in Hitachi Power Africa.
This stake means that the ruling party stands to make up to R5,8-billion out of the contract.
“Cosatu welcomes the report and congratulates Comrade Lawrence Mushwana for exposing the fact that the ANC stood to benefit by up to R5,8-billion,” it said.
Mushwana found that Moosa, a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, failed to declare the conflict of interest and failed to recuse himself from the board’s deliberations.
These failings could have resulted “in the reasonable perception that Mr Moosa was biased in respect of the … award”, Mushwana said in his report tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
He recommended that Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan consider introducing legislation to regulate the way business is conducted between government entities and political parties.
Cosatu backed his call and said his finding was so disturbing that Eskom’s 25% tariff increases over the next three years should be reviewed.
“There is now a serious question mark against whether there were vested interests involved in supporting the increases.”
Mushwana said Moosa’s improper conduct did not affect the validity of the deal, which has been criticised by the political opposition. — Sapa