Editor’s Note: Eskom snubs Black woman for top post
We refer to the above article published in the Sunday Independent of 2 August 2020 and state for the record that the Department of Public Enterprises and Minister Pravin Gordhan in particular, was sent questions regarding the appointment of Ms Mantuka Maisela as Eskom’s pension and provident fund chairperson.
We reported that two weeks after receiving her letter of appointment, Ms Mantuka’s was served with yet another letter announcing her removal from the position and also her removal as a trustee. Ms Caroline Henry was instead appointed to the position - a clear violation of our government’s transformation agenda.
We gave Mr Gordhan a right of reply to the questions that we sent directly to him and his department through his spokesperson Sam Mkokeli. We need to point out that we expected that he would ignore our enquiries as he has done so many times before, but we sent them anyway.
At the time of going to print we were warned that a decision has been taken not to respond to our questions directly, but that a comprehensive statement attacking our integrity as a newspaper will be circulated to all media on Sunday.
And indeed a statement was circulated to all media giving Mr Gordhan’s side of the story and not only that, but he used the opportunity to level accusations, yet again, that the newspaper and our reporters had ulterior motives and were pursuing an unknown agenda against those fighting corruption in government.
Such unprofessional and unethical behaviour towards the Sunday Independent is not something that we are seeing for the first time coming from Mr Gordhan’s office.
A few months ago we sent questions to his department and he chose to ignore them and issued what he called “a cautionary note” to all media rubbishing our publication and casting aspersions on our integrity as journalists and that of the Sunday Independent.
As we are still pursuing Ms Mantuka’s appointment with more information coming out, I am not at liberty to elaborate on the matter as it has the potential to jeopardise our investigation and our follow-up stories going forward.
All I can say is that we will continue sending questions to Mr Gordhan and give him his constitutional right of reply. Whether he chooses to use it or not, is his prerogative. But we will continue to report, write and publish stories without any fear or favour.
Zingisa Mkhuma (Editor)