Energy Refutes Media Claims On Investigations

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CAPE TOWN: Energy Minister David Mahlobo and his Deputy Thembisile Majola have dismissed media reports that they deliberately misrepresented facts about the investigations into the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

In a Business Day article published on Tuesday, it is alleged that “the two-year investigation of the sale of 10-million barrels of the country’s strategic fuel reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) had to be abandoned because the international legal firm conducting it had declared a conflict of interest”.

The Ministry has refuted the allegations, adding that it misrepresents and misinterprets facts.

“The story is incorrect and wrongly fed to the public. The department strongly condemns this misrepresentation and misinterpretation of facts by the said journalists and calls for proper reporting that is informed by properly researched content,” said the department.

He further added that the journalist should have afforded him an opportunity to reply and clarify the matter before feeding the public poor content.

The Minister said the publishing of such stories has the ability to tarnish his reputation and that of the department.

The department has since set the record straight adding that the following is the true reflection of the SFF investigations:

  • The Minister has not abandoned the investigation.
  • The probe is continuing.
  • People involved will be interviewed and given a chance to respond to the allegations contained in the report.

Minister Mahlobo emphasized that where people are found to be at fault they will have to account.

The Minister also rejected the utterances of DA member and Energy Portfolio Committee’s Gavin Davis made in Parliament on Tuesday.

During the parliamentary sitting, Davis claimed that Minister Mahlobo rejected studies by the Council for Scientific Research and Innovation (CSIR).

“These utterances are malicious and meant to whip up emotions at a time when the country is expecting a constructive approach from its elected representatives.

“Attributing statements to the Minister on CSIR and Eskom studies is a demonstration of the gutter politics that are being resorted to in order to drive certain agenda,” said the department