Eskom inquiry calls into question the conduct of professionals – Ntsebeza


Cape Town – Parliament’s Eskom inquiry has called into question the conduct of professionals and the roles of professional bodies, according to Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza.

The portfolio committee on public enterprises has, since mid-October 2017, been investigating allegations of maladministration at the state power utility.

Ntsebeza attended the inquiry on Tuesday.

He introduced Rajie Murugan, the CEO of forensic firm the G9 Group, to the committee members. Murugan on Tuesday delivered evidence from his firm’s investigation on Eskom’s relationship with Gupta-linked company Trillian.

The G9 investigation only lasted six weeks before it was abruptly halted.

Ntsebeza said the investigation’s preliminary findings were “numbingly shocking”.

“What struck me of those investigations is how the Eskom’s leadership would abruptly terminate the mandate of the investigation at very critical moments. There would have been exposure of the most corrupt practices of leadership at Eskom,” he said. 

“That still leaves me shuddering in disbelief that such large-scale corruption and plain theft could take place.”

In his closing remarks to the portfolio committee, provided at the request of chair Zukiswa Rantho, Ntsebeza explained that the committee should have the power to investigate or refer the conduct of professionals implicated in wrongdoing to relevant bodies for further investigation.

He said that he had always wondered how the huge companies with “years and years” of experience that were employed by Eskom would allow the misconduct  to take place which has been revealed during the inquiry’s hearings.

“How are these legal firms advising their clients, if their clients are found to be routinely breaking the law in the manner in which the G9 report has revealed?” he asked. 

He also questioned why Eskom went ahead with its contract with Trillian, even though legal advisers had advised against it.

“What is our duty as lawyers when there is conduct which is unethical?”

Ntsebeza said that professionals should not take an attitude that they are beyond reach.  “No one, but no one, is above the law,” he said. 

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