Former Eskom chair Ben Ngubane wanted critical media blacklisted

Former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to blacklist newspapers that published stories revealing looting and other damning allegations against the power utility.

The details of the attempted blacklisting are contained in a draft forensic report commissioned by the national treasury — which the Mail & Guardian has seen — and conducted by Fundudzi Forensic Services which was tasked with investigating various allegations at both Eskom and state logistics firm, Transnet.

The report reveals that Ngubane wrote a letter to former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown titled “Suspension of contact in any form whatsoever and/or commercial relationship with the Mail and Guardian, City Press and the Sunday Times“.

At the time of the letter being written, which is dated September 30 2015, the above-mentioned publications were reporting on the special treatment Gupta-owned mines were allegedly receiving from the state-owned entity.

In his correspondence, Ngubane told Brown that Eskom had resolved to “suspend any dealing” with the newspapers and would not place any advertisements or have any “commercial relationship” with them.


The forensic report illustrated the extent of the Gupta family’s network, the looting of parastatals and the flouting of procurement procedures.

Some of the allegations contained in the report include how former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh enjoyed overseas trips arranged by consulting firm McKinsey, which scored multi-billion rand contracts at the state enterprises.

READ MORE: From Dubai to Russia ― how former Eskom and Transnet CFO Anoj Singh was bought

The report also implicates other senior executives — including former executive for generation Matshela Koko and former acting head for fuel sourcing Ayanda Nteta — of allegedly working overtime and using underhanded tactics to benefit the politically connected Gupta family.

READ MORE: Treasury confirmation — Eskom looting was an inside job

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Ithala fails to act against board chairperson over PPE scandal

Morar asked to settle with the state and pay back the profit he made on an irregular tender

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

More top stories

Feathers fly over proposed wind farm’s impacts on great white...

The project poses a risk to declining great white pelican population at Dassen Island

Covid triggers crypto collectables boom

These one-of-a-kind digital collector’s items are being sold for unprecedented prices

Crisis response and accountability: Should leaders’ gender matter?

Women leaders are lauded for their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the data is often cherry-picked

ANC North West factions fight on

Premier Job Mokgoro’s hearing begins despite move to stop it by party secretary general Ace Magashule
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…