The mystery of SA’s illegally sold strategic fuel stocks deepened on Tuesday when officials of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) and its parent company, the Central Energy Fund (CEF), told MPs that the state could suffer further losses as some of the oil sold was “unpumpable”. The buyers, who have paid $280m for the crude oil, would need the government to buy an additional 1.2-million barrels at prevailing prices to make good on the transaction, should the stocks be confirmed as rightfully theirs by a court. The SFF sold SA’s entire strategic fuel stock of 10-million barrels in December 2017 — well below the prevailing market price and without requisite permission — claiming it was a “stock rotation”. The forensic investigation into who was responsible and who benefited from the deal has dragged on for several years and is still not complete. On Tuesday, officials of the SFF, CEF and its subsidiaries briefed parliament’s portfolio committee on energy. They faced a barrage of questions a...

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