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Former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says offloading of oil reserves was a rotation of stock and not a deal.File Pic GCIS

DA asks for SIU to investigate sale of Strategic Fuel Stocks

Calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to honour his promise, Send Me, among others to fight corruption has begun.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says on Friday it has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to establish an investigation concerning the unlawful sale of South Africa’s strategic fuel stocks at below-market prices.

DA Shadow Minister of Energy Gavin Davis is requesting that President Ramaphosa to dispatch Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to investigate the oil stock saga.

“It is evaluated that it would cost South Africa R5.6 billion, at the present conversion scale, to supplant the 10.3 million oil barrels effectively sold,” said Davis.

Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo, told the Energy Portfolio Committee this week that an investigation began by the Department into the deal hit an obstacle because of what he called a “trashy” report he had gotten on the issue.

“We don’t trust it is proper for a Minister to organise a request and after that have the ability to acknowledge or dismiss the report that takes after from it.  For all we know, Minister Mahlobo has rejected the report since it involves high-positioning government officials and political partners in bad behavior,” said Davis.

Davis said law firm that led the request in the interest of the Department of Energy, Allen, and Overy has expressed that they stand by their report.

The DA said it is suspicious that former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told Parliament in 2016 that the offloading of oil reserves was a rotation of stock and not a deal.

The opposition party said Joemat-Petterson’s  successor, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, affirmed that the stocks were in certainty sold.

Davis said there is something spoiled at the core of the offer of our vital oil reserves, saying it would be a profound lapse in public accountability if we allow the investigation into it to live or die according to the whims of Minister Mahlobo.

“We need an independent body to investigate the sale.  The SIU is well-placed to this in line with its mandate to investigate serious malpractice relating to state institutions, state assets, and public money,” added Davis.


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