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Cape Town - The Central Energy Fund (CEF) and its subsidiary, the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), are still locked in a legal battle with Glencore over the sale of the country’s oil reserves to the latter for a cut price.

Both the CEF and SFF want the Western Cape High Court to reverse the decision to sell the stock for $300million three years ago.

In the papers filed in the High Court Glencore had complained that the CEF and SFF were delaying the hearing of the matter.

But now all parties agreed on Friday that the matter would be heard at a later date.

The portfolio committee on energy entered the fray after it heard that 10 million barrels of crude oil had been sold at a cut price by the SFF in 2016.

But the CEF claimed in the papers in the High Court that a senior official at the SFF had conducted the sale behind the back of the CEF, the National Treasury and other senior officials at the SFF.

It also said the sale of the oil reserves had been in violation of the laws of the country as no proper procedures had been followed.

In its papers Glencore said the CEF and SFF had delayed the matter being heard in court.

“An investigation report was tabled before the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy This is significant, as it evidences that the investigation which the applicants (CEF and SFF) said they needed to do in the meetings in November 2018 has largely been completed,” stated Glencore in the papers.

“Glencore contends that the applicants have now had enough time in which to complete their investigations and there is no reason why they should not by now have delivered their supplementary affidavits,” it added.

“As discussed in greater detail below, under the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act), the SFF board was obliged to notify National Treasury of the proposed transactions to dispose of the oil reserves prior to the implementation of the impugned transactions. There was, however, no such notification and National Treasury was therefore unable to discharge its oversight and prudential functions,” said the CEF in the papers.

The CEF treasury department said it had not been aware of the deal until the first tranche of $112m was deposited into its account in February 2016.

It was at that point it became aware of this.

The SFF board also told Parliament last year that it had conducted a forensic investigation into the matter, but it was only 90% complete.

The mineral resources and energy committee will meet this week to discuss its programme for the year after the May elections.

The ANC has nominated Zet Luzipho to chair the committee.

This was after former chairperson of the committee Fikile Majola was appointed deputy minister of trade and industry by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Politics Bureau