CAPE TOWN - While KPMG is under severe attack from South African companies for allegedly being involved in irregular transactions, it is also a good time to look at alleged irregularities a bit closer to home.
In the case of KPMG, we are talking about a few billion rand, but in the case of PetroSA, we are talking losses of R14.6 billion or almost R20bn in two years.
Remember the sudden resignation of PetroSA’s acting group chief executive, Mapula Modipa, “for personal reasons”, after being at the helm of the company from May 2015?
And another former PetroSA manager that has been arrested on fraud, theft and money laundering charges, Matshidso Eunice Mogashoa, the former corporate social investment manager, that is alleged to have defrauded PetroSA of more than R60 million?
She was released on R5 000 bail after allegedly committing fraud between 2007 and 2011.
PetroSA reports to the Central Energy Fund (CEF), which also oversees the functioning of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
This state-owned energy company has a track record of alleged corrupt transactions for many years.
Wholly owned subsidiaries operating under CEF are PetroSA, the SFF, which manages strategic crude oil infrastructure, strategic crude oil stocks and provides oil pollution control services in Saldanha Bay, iGAS which is a shareholder in the Mozambique-to-South Africa gas pipeline and is involved in the development of other gas delivery projects, and AEMFC which mines coal in Mpumalanga for supply to Eskom.
In the news The SFF has been in the news recently for the illegal sale of 10-million barrels of the country’s strategic oil reserve in December 2015.
More controversial is the constant firing of board members of the CEF, SFF and PetroSA. Previous Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, fired the chairperson of CEF, Xolani Mkhwanazi, not so long ago “for his role in the aborted attempt by SFF to acquire the South African assets of US oil company Chevron in June.
Mkhwanazi has then been appointed deputy chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). His late brother, Don Mkhwanazi, was also fired as chairperson of both CEF and SFF some years ago for alleged corrupt transactions amounting to billions. Mkhwanazi certainly maintains his controversial status in the media.
According to a Business Times article yesterday “PIC chairperson, Sfiso Buthelezi, and deputy chairperson, Xolani Mkhwanazi, and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba have been battling to clear their names from accusations that they are facilitating an elaborate plot to gain access to funds under the PIC’s management for nefarious ends.”
Adri Senekal de Wet is Executive Editor: Independent Media. Editor: Business Report & Personal Finance.