WHY IS OUTA TARGETING BEN NGUBANE?
Dr Ben Ngubane resigned from the Eskom board on 12 June 2017. He’s been a member of the Eskom board since December 2014 and chair since October 2015. He’s presided over Eskom’s attempt to take on the unaffordable nuclear build, and then the unforgettable debacle with Brian Molefe as Eskom boss, then as the sort-of maybe former chief executive with the secret and irregular R30m payoff and then as the chief executive the board finally agreed to unhire. Ngubane’s also previously chaired the SABC board and the Land Bank. He hasn’t covered himself or those state-owned entities in glory.
WHAT IS OUTA’S COMPLAINT AGAINST NGUBANE?
OUTA has investigated Ngubane on a variety of matters arising from his tenure on the Eskom and SABC boards and followed up on a recent Carte Blanche investigation which exposed irregularities in the mining sector. We found allegations that Ngubane and his wife Sheila borrowed R50m from the state-owned Ithala Development Finance Corporation Ltd, used it to buy mineral rights through their wholly owned business, then failed to pay back the R50m and allowed their business to be liquidated. Even worse, the share certificates indicating ownership of the mineral rights appear to have been forged. OUTA feels that someone with so much experience in state-owned entities should have known better, and should be held to account.
HOW IS OUTA TACKLING THIS ISSUE?
OUTA laid a criminal complaint at the Olifantsfontein Police Station in Gauteng on 13 June 2017. The charges are fraud, forgery, uttering and contraventions of the Companies Act. We’ve backed this complaint up with the evidence from our investigation. We’ll keep watch for other information that might be relevant in this case and we’ll be watching over the police and National Prosecuting Authority so that this case doesn’t just disappear.