Mining boss calls for judicial inquiry on state capture
The outgoing president of the Chamber of Mines has backed calls for a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.
Mike Teke made the remarks on Wednesday at the chamber’s annual general meeting.
“We have stood resolute in our desire for achieving growth and transformation and governance outcomes that are in the national interest‚” Teke said in a speech.
“We must have the courage and fortitude to continue pushing for what is right in our country and to get the South African dream‚ as encapsulated in the NDP [National Development Plan]‚ back on track.”
He alluded to recent allegations made by former minerals minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi that he had been approached by Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and chairman Ben Ngubane to cancel mining licences held by global giant Glencore in the country.
The request appeared to be aimed at squeezing Glencore operations out of business‚ so they could be bought by Gupta-owned Tegeta.
Ramatlhodi said he had refused the request and was subsequently fired.
Tegeta did later buy the Glencore mine‚ which has under highly controversial circumstances gained supplier contracts from Eskom.
Members of parliament earlier this week called for inquiry into the affairs of Eskom‚ in particular Molefe’s recent return to the state entity after a brief stint as an MP.
Molefe resigned as Eskom CEO in November last year after he was implicated by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in her state capture report‚ which had investigated allegations that the Guptas had used their association with President Jacob Zuma to gain government business.
Ngubane has vehemently denied Ramatlhodi’s allegations‚ saying there is no way company officials can instruct a minister.
Zuma has launched a legal challenge to Madonsela’s findings‚ which also implicated him and included calls for a judicial inquiry into allegations of state capture.
Teke said such allegations were “extremely concerning”.
“These come on top of the report of the public protector‚ which examined a range of related issues. If the allegations are proven to be true‚ South Africa’s reputation as an investment destination could be further damaged‚” he said.
“It is crucial that ethical leadership and good governance are the foundations of our economy and society as a whole‚ without exception.
“The chamber believes that further investigation into the matter is required‚ and recommends that the president order the commission of inquiry into state capture to proceed at the earliest opportunity.”