“It boggles the mind how Mr Gordhan saw it fit to ratify the appointment of his own niece to the EPPF Board of Trustees, an act which would be frowned upon if it were done by someone else.”
THE EFF has rejected the appointment of a niece of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to the Board of Trustees of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF).
The red berets accused Gordhan of not being bound “by the same laws and the same ethical considerations which everyone else is expected to uphold”.
The party issued a statement rejecting the appointment of Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje, Gordhan’s niece, to the EPPF.
Independent Media has reported that Gordhan’s niece, Tlhotlhalemaje, was appointed as one of the trustees of the R146 billion Eskom pension and provident fund and allegedly only declared more than a month into the position that the minister was her uncle.
Her father is Gordhan’s elder brother.
The niece, whose maiden name is also Gordhan, is the general manager for regulation at Eskom and married to A Tlhotlhalemaje, sources said.
Gordhan’s spokesperson Sam Mkokeli said Tlhotlhalemaje had been at Eskom and in management since 1998 when Gordhan was a backbencher in Parliament.
“But I am afraid that people abuse things like this to drive a particular narrative and angles,” said Mkokeli.
It has been revealed that Tlhotlhalemaje is currently the power utility’s general manager responsible for regulations.
The EFF alleged that she was responsible for hikes in electricity tariffs “which have caused a serious spike in the prices of electricity in the country”.
“It boggles the mind how Mr Gordhan saw it fit to ratify the appointment of his own niece to the EPPF Board of Trustees, an act which would be frowned upon if it were done by someone else.
“He (Gordhan) thinks he is immune from societal scrutiny, and can, therefore, do as he pleases with the governance of key sectors in South Africa,” said the EFF.
The red berets accused Gordhan of being arrogant, and of having plundered the company into crisis.
“Cronyism and nepotism that is happening at Eskom and all other state-owned entities under the oversight of Gordhan as government shareholder representative had become the new normal.
“The fact that Tlhotlhalemaje failed to declare such obvious conflict of interest and Gordhan himself did not do anything about it shows deliberate intent and should be rejected with the contempt it deserves,” said the EFF.
The party alleged that Andre de Ruyter was appointed under Gordhan’s watch as Eskom’s chief executive officer despite evidence that he did not have the experience and capacity to run the organisation.
“De Ruyter demonstrated his lack of knowledge on public procurement legislation when he told parliament at Eskom appearance before the standing committee on finance that he hand-picked four companies and recommended them to procurement. This is how corruption happens, and that was a clear sign that he is corrupt and should have stepped down,” said EFF.
Mkokeli said he would respond at a later stage on the allegations against De Ruyter.