The Democratic Alliance (DA) has demanded transparency from the both the presidency and South African power utility, Eskom, over media reports accusing a presidential energy advisor of a R149 million conflict of interest.
Seven months after the appointment of Silas Zimu as energy advisor to president Jacob Zuma, Cape Gate Marepha – a company for whose board Zimu holds a nonexecutive director role – received a R149 million tender to supply the parastatal with wiring.
“The DA will today submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to tender documents which resulted in President Jacob Zuma’s energy adviser, Silas Zimu, receiving a R149 million contract from Eskom”, wrote DA shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone.
According to reports by the Sunday Times, the deal between Eskom and Cape Gate Marepha emerged due to a report by the auditor-general flagging 12 similar samples of “undeclared” deals with state employees.
The DA has questioned whether president Zuma was aware of Zimu’s role within the energy sector and will table parliamentary questions to determine how much the presidency knew upon Zimu’s appointment.
Zimu has since downplayed his involvement with Cape Gate Marepha by saying that his resignation from the board has been planned since November.
The DA has also requested that the power utility supply all documents concerning the awarding of the wiring tender so as to shed light on the matter further.