Zuma Energy Adviser Failed to Declare Link to Eskom Supplier

  • Cape Gate Marepha was awarded 149 million rand contract
  • Silas Zimu didn’t identify himself as non-executive director

Silas Zimu, a special adviser on energy to South African President Jacob Zuma, didn’t declare his involvement in a company that was awarded a 149 million-rand ($11 million) contract by the state-owned power utility, according to the presidency.

Zimu failed to identify himself as a non-executive director of Cape Gate Marepha before it was awarded the deal to supply Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. with wiring, the presidency said in a written reply to questions from the opposition party Democratic Alliance. The question and response were received Wednesday from both the DA and Parliament.

Eskom is the subject of a growing number of probes and South Africa’s Parliament said this week it will start its own investigation into the resignation and subsequent reappointment of Brian Molefe as chief executive officer of the utility. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has yet to announce a new leader for the company, while previous acting CEO, Matshela Koko, went on leave in May pending an investigation of Eskom contracts awarded to a company linked to his stepdaughter.

Before serving as a special adviser to Zuma in 2015, Zimu worked at Eskom as an engineer and was managing director at City Power, according to the announcement of his appointment. His link to Cape Gate Marepha and the Eskom contract was first reported by the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times newspaper in May.

A spokesman for the presidency didn’t immediately return a call and text message seeking comment. Khulani Qoma, Eskom’s board spokesman, said he couldn’t immediately comment.

“The delegated executive authority is in engagement with the special adviser with regards to the declarations of interest,” the presidency said. Zimu did declare interests in Business Venture, Vaal River City and Titantrade, it said, without providing more detail.

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