Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s robust interrogation of former Eskom chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh has been welcomed by political analysts, who say this display of truth-searching was needed in the country’s current political climate.
Singh appeared before the parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises for an inquiry into the power utility‚ Eskom on Tuesday. He resigned as CFO on Monday night.
Political analyst Imraan Buccus said the presence of Gordhan in the portfolio committee had “great gravitas”.
“He has an enormous knowledge in the sector and epitomizes South Africa’s crusade against corruption in recent months,” Buccus said.
He said that Gordhan’s powerful interrogation skills should be welcomed and contributes to what the former finance minister calls “the cleansing of our country”.
After more than four hours of questions and roundabout answers, Gordhan snapped at Singh accusing him of lying, being evasive and unhelpful.
Gordhan called Singh a "delinquent" director who had flouted the Public Finance Management Act and was part of a "vast conspiracy" to funnel taxpayers' money to the Gupta family.
Although welcoming Gordhan’s strong interrogation at the Eskom parliamentary inquiry, political analyst Ralph Mathekga questioned whether this approach to weeding out corruption was a “once-off thing or will it stop once people are politically comfortable?”
Mathekga said he hoped the forceful approach would continue under Cyril Ramaphosa’s watch, should he become president of the country in 2019.
He applauded Gordhan’s stance in the parliamentary inquiry saying this was the positive byproduct of state capture that was able to spark efforts about accountability in Parliament.
“The ANC caucus in Parliament will never be the same again.
“You watch Gordhan and you ask yourself if he is from the opposition. Where was the opposition party? This is the kind of work you expect the opposition to do and if the ANC caucus is doing this, then what is the purpose of the opposition?” Mathekga questioned.
He said there was national fascination over the Eskom inquiry and other allegations of state capture.
“I hope the public are not disappointed,” he said.