OPINION

Treasury must intervene in sale of fuel reserves – Pieter Van Dalen

DA wants to know if NT received money from unlawful sale and if Minister of Finance will take disciplinary action against Joemat-Pettersson

DA to request Treasury intervention for unlawful sale of fuel reserves

9 June 2016

The DA has written to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, to seek clarity as to whether National Treasury (NT) received any of the money from the unlawful sale of our fuel stocks and whether it will be taking any disciplinary action against Minister of Energy, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, for contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) in this transaction.

According to the PFMA, section 54(2d):“Before a public entity concludes any of the following transactions, the accounting authority for the public entity must promptly and in writing inform the relevant treasury of the transaction and submit relevant particulars of the transaction to its executive authority for approval of the transaction: (d) acquisition or disposal of a significant asset.

Furthermore, we also need to know where the fuel stocks are located after the sale; this would be a huge case of delinquency if the very same fuel was purchased at a great loss to replenish stocks.

Even worse is if this is another case of an ANC cadre enrichment scheme with the possibility of some of the huge profits being channeled into the ANC election campaign. 

The DA has already written to the Public Protector requesting an investigation. We believe more must be done to expose the culprits involved and bring them to account.

Minister of Energy, Miss Joemat Pettersson, and the CE of the Central Energy Fund (CEF), Mr Sibusiso Gumede have indicated that it is just a rotation of stock and that CEF can buy back the fuel at any stage. However, basic economics shows that if you sell fuel at $29 a barrel and buy it back at $50 a barrel, the Fund will be making a massive loss.

It has recently emerged that there may be common actors orchestrating this sale. A Mr Simphiwe Mehlomakulu allegedly signed off on a Petro SA deal in 2003, when the whole Oilgate saga erupted around this R15 million deal with R11 million diverted to the ANC. Again Mr Mehlomakulu was allegedly involved in this current deal as the fuel was bought by a joint venture between his firm, Elderberry, and Vittol.

We look forward to a response from the Treasury and urge them to do what is necessary to investigate these allegations as soon as possible. 

Issued by Pieter Van Dalen, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Energy, 9 June 2016