Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: WEEKEND POST
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: WEEKEND POST

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi is denying that she suspended the Central Energy Fund board of directors.

Her spokeswoman, Nomvula Khalo, confirmed on Tuesday that Kubayi had sent letters to board members asking them to explain their role in the Strategic Fuel Fund stock rotation issue.

However, Business Day understands that following a meeting with the minister in Pretoria last week directors were left in no doubt that they should not report for work.

The letter sent to the board members and seen by Business Day did not mention suspension but instructed them "not to be in contact with Central Energy Fund staff members".

In May 2017, Kubayi admitted for the first time that the secret disposal of 10.3-million barrels of SA’s strategic oil reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund in December 2015 had been a sale and not a "rotation of stock".

This was despite former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson repeatedly asserting this to justify her approval of the deal.

In 2016, Joemat-Pettersson instructed London-based law firm Allen & Overy to review all Strategic Fuel Fund contracts since 2014, including the sale of the stockpile.

Auditing firm KPMG compiled a financial analysis report.

The DA wants Kubayi to be summoned to appear before the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy to answer under oath questions relating to the saga.

Khalo said Kubayi, as the minister, was the shareholder of the Central Energy Fund and all matters relating to governance at the state-owned entity would be dealt with by her and the board. Such matters would be handled confidentially.

The minister would make public announcements on any matter when the need arose and at an appropriate time, she said.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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