MP who led Eskom corruption inquiry shunned

Zukiswa Rantho, who chaired Parliament’s explosive inquiry into the capture of embattled power utility Eskom, has not made it back on to the ANC’s list of members who could return to Parliament after the elections.

Rantho confirmed that she was not on any lists for legislatures in the next term and said she had accepted the decision of ANC structures.

The final report by the inquiry, which kicked off in October 2017 and was concluded last year, was unanimously adopted by all political parties in Parliament and was hailed as “brilliant” by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

It was referred to the commission of inquiry into state capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and recommended that law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute those involved in dodgy deals at Eskom.

Rantho last month told Parliament that the report was cheered when finalised last year but warned that, perhaps because of the upcoming elections, the tone had been changed and this had given discredited individuals an opportunity to comment on the matter.

She complained that former acting Eskom boss Matshela Koko was a possible criminal but he was being given the opportunity to comment on Eskom’s affairs.

Although some ANC sources expressed their unhappiness about her exclusion from the list, Rantho said she did not want to sound “like a person who is crying”.

“I have accepted the fact that I am not coming back and I am preparing myself for that,” she said.

On the other side of the spectrum, the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu, has had to withdraw his name from the ANC lists because of the fraud and corruption charges he is facing. They relate to about R28-million paid by the provincial economic department while he was MEC for a jazz festival that never took place.

Mabuyakhulu, one of the provincial co-ordinators for Ramaphosa’s successful campaign for the ANC presidency, on Monday confirmed that he had withdrawn from the ANC list in an affidavit he submitted to the Durban commercial crimes court as part of a bid to have the case against him struck off the roll.

Mabuyakhulu was charged in February last year and, in his affidavit, questioned the “timing” of the decision to charge him five years later.

“I am unable to take up public office because of this case hanging over my head. This is particularly prejudicial right now because the national and provincial elections will be held on 8 May 2019 and my name was on the ANC’s list of candidates for the provincial legislature,” he said in the affidavit.

A senior ANC provincial source said the only other KwaZulu-Natal nominee to have withdrawn from the list was Ntuthuko Mahlaba, who has since been appointed mayor of Newcastle.

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Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

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