Johannesburg - Non-governmental organisation Right to Justice is accusing the office of the Chief Justice of “playing games with people’s lives”.
This follows allegations that Central Energy Fund director Nkululeko Poya submitted a fake court order in order to clear his name of allegations of maladministration levelled against him.
The story broke when UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wrote to Police Minister Bheki Cele and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, asking them to investigate allegations that Poya had submitted a fraudulent court order.
On Friday, Right to Justice accused a faction aligned to former president Jacob Zuma of attempting to hijack the energy crisis by insinuating that court orders could be faked.
“South Africa is going through an energy crisis, and the Central Energy Fund is key to the resolution of the crisis.
“The attempt by some to collapse the board in order to get their hands on the energy fund and derail the efforts for energy stability must be condemned.
“It is interesting that the people running exposés on André de Ruyter, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Nkululeko Poya are the same people who contributed to the load-shedding disaster we find ourselves in, ” Right to Justice said.
“If someone demands that there was a court order or that an order is fake, that is a matter for the police and the courts.
“What are the benefits for Poya to be fired or for a board to be dismantled without the evidence?” it said.
Poya’s lawyer, Rudolph Baloyi, has indicated that his client will clear his name in due course, formally adding that for now he has chosen to keep quiet.
Poya is the acting board chairperson of the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) and Central Energy Fund (CEF) director.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe appointed Poya, the former CEO of the Railway Safety Regulator, to the CEF board in 2019.
In a letter circulated on social media this past week, Holomisa said: “You are called upon to verify the accuracy and veracity of the attached two documents aimed at clearing the name of Mr Nkululeko Andrew Stephen Poya, the acting board chairperson of PetroSA and director of the Central Energy Fund.”
As the squabble for the controlling powers of energy intensified, sources close to the situation said allegations against Poya were aimed at allowing former mineral resources and energy minister Mosebenzi Zwane to keep a firm grip on the energy board.
PwC said: “PwC was made aware of the existence of an apparent court order in which PwC and a former partner are cited as respondents.
“We have not seen a copy of the court order and are investigating as we have no knowledge of the alleged court proceedings.”
The Office of the Chief Justice said it has procedures in place that make provision for the reporting of any alleged incidents of fraudulent court orders in the superior courts.
Baloyi said his client would clear his name in due course.
“Mr Poya will not at this stage be speculating or commenting on the issue.
“However, he maintains his innocence and has assembled a legal team to deal with the malicious matter expeditiously.
“Mr Poya is looking forward to clearing his name in due course,” Baloyi told Independent Media.