CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s inquiry into Eskom is now set to begin only later in July but it will also investigate state capture allegations involving Transnet and Denel.

The committee was briefed on Tuesday by the South African Council of Churches (SACC), lobby group Outa and the State Capacity Research group on their research and findings on state capture.

Its terms of reference and list of potential witnesses, which includes President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and business associate Ajay Gupta, will be finalised in the meanwhile.

An assurance from acting chairperson Zukiswa Rantho: “On every entity that is under us, we will probe them – all of them. We’re not going to shy away from our work, we will do our work effectively.”

The witness list may be expanded, with the Economic Freedom Fighters urging that President Zuma and the finance and mining ministers also testify and the Democratic Alliance pushing for other Gupta brothers to be called.

On Tuesday, Parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee was urged to put Eskom’s finances under the microscope when the inquiry gets underway.

The parliamentary inquiry was initially set to focus on Eskom’s controversial reappointment of Brian Molefe as CEO.

But since the revelations of the leaked Gupta emails, it’s been broadened to scrutinise the state-owned company’s governance and procurement.

Outa’s Ted Blom, a former long-serving Eskom employee, highlighted Eskom’s irregular expenditure of R3 billion, revealed last week in its latest annual financial statements.

Blom said that this means R3 billion was paid out without any source documentation, spelling out how much and to whom.

But he said Eskom’s accounting system, SAP, requires such details before a payment is processed.

“All I can conclude is that from this statement, where R3 billion was processed without source documents, is that somewhere in Eskom, there’s either somebody with a golden key that can override the SAP system. And we know that SAP has been receiving money from the Gupta family, or alternatively, there’s an old cheque book that hasn’t been burnt, and is running in parallel to the SAP system.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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