Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli

Cape Town - Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli has warned against threats made against members of the inquiry into state capture, saying this was an affront to the law and Constitution.

Tsenoli made the statement after acting chairperson of the inquiry into state capture Zukiswa Rantho, DA MP Natasha Mazzone and evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara reported that they have been threatened.

Rantho and Mazzone said they have been threatened in the past week.

Tsenoli said they would not allow members of Parliament to be threatened for doing their work.

Read: Lynne Brown falls ill as MPs wait to question her

He said this was unacceptable and committees of Parliament were mandated to do their work without any fear or favour. 

Rantho said on Wednesday that the threats would affect her work. She has had her son threatened and husband followed on a highway.

Mazzone has been followed and her office ransacked.

MPs in the committee have warned against the threats. They have asked witnesses in the inquiry if they have been threatened.

Also read: #EskomInquiry will give 'implicated individuals' a chance to rebut allegations

The warning by Tsenoli came after Eskom was downgraded by two rating agencies for poor governance and the Guptas.

Eskom is sitting on guarantees of R350 billion. 

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that if the guarantees were to be called against state-owned entities it would bankrupt the state because there would be no money in the fiscus to repay the loans.

SAA is another state-owned entity that is sitting on guarantees of R20 billion.

Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had said last year the guarantees were almost R500 billion and this was not sustainable.

Acting Eskom Chief Executive Sean Maritz said yesterday they will address governance issues raised by Moody’s and Standard & Poor. Maritz said this would be done expeditiously.

Eskom acting Chief Financial Officer Calib Sassim said they will ensure there was liquidity at the power utility.

“We are committed to ensuring an improvement of our liquidity levels and restoring the positive lender and investor sentiment to unlock access to the markets. 

"We remain positive that with the cooperation of the relevant participants, the funding plan can still be executed, albeit under challenging conditions. This will strengthen our liquidity and propel us towards positive cash flows,” said Cassim.

The announcement of the Eskom downgrade came after Public Enterprises Lynne Brown had taken ill after she failed to come to Parliament to answer oral questions.

Brown was part of a group of Ministers in the economics cluster who were to answer questions in the House yesterday, but Speaker Baleka Mbete said she is off sick until mid-December.

Mbete said Brown had written to her that she would not come because of ill-health and was booked off from November 24 until December 14.

Political Bureau