Parties want heads to roll over energy

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Opposition party leaders yesterday called for the heads of Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as those of top Eskom officials, over the electricity supply crisis.

They also blasted President Thabo Mbeki for not holding anyone accountable for failing to build more power stations, especially since the first warnings came in 1998.

The opposition MPs launched their barbs at a joint sitting of parliament yesterday.

The DA's Hendrik Schmidt, the Independent Democrats' Lance Greyling, African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe and the Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Mulder all called on Mbeki to take action against those responsible.

Schmidt said Erwin, then trade and industry minister, and Mlambo-Ngcuka, then minerals and energy minister, should be held accountable for failing to heed the warnings.

Greyling slammed Mbeki for not firing a single minister over the electricity crisis.

Greyling said this made a "mockery of political accountability".

Meshoe called on Mbeki to take action against those responsible for this "mess". He said Erwin should do the honourable thing and resign.

Mulder said South Africa was the only country in the world where ministers could make such costly financial mistakes and still hold on to their jobs.