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Turn of events in DA Eskom petition

By Jessica Anne Wood

Following the presentation of a petition by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to Eskom on Tuesday, the power utility has laid criminal charges against the DA. The petition called for Eskom executives to return the R73 million paid out in bonuses over the past seven years.

Eskom revealed in a statement that it has laid criminal charges against the DA at the Sandton Police Station on Thursday 21 January, for a contravention of the Regulation of Gatherings Act 205 of 1993. According to the Act, no more than 15 people can gather without prior approval. According to reports, the DA had 30 members with it when it handed in the petition to Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

“DA members, Mazzone et al arrived at Eskom’s Head Office on Wednesday, 20 January 2016 without prior approval and proceeded to occupy the reception area in a rowdy manner demanding to see Eskom Group Chief Executive, Mr Brian Molefe,” stated Eskom.

Further charges are reportedly to be laid against the DA following questions about the authenticity of some of the petition signatories. “Eskom will be laying another charge of fraud later this afternoon following a brief investigation that revealed that the information of some of the signatories of the ‘petition’ is not authentic.

“Upon inspection of the petitions, it was most alarming to note that some signatures appear to have been executed by the same person and the petitioners somehow managed to sign the petition on one page in first name alphabetical order.  Identity numbers of the signatories are either incomplete or nonsensical (e.g. 780567…, 870431…,723652…) and at least one cell phone number proved to be call centre number of the Financial Services Board,” explained Eskom.

The DA stands by its petition. In a statement released by the DA, it said: “The Minister’s attempt to discredit the handover stems from her inability to challenge the facts of the petition, and serve as nothing more than a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the issue of the continued payment of bonuses.”

It added: “As long as South Africans continue to suffer from the threat of load-shedding, an unstable electricity supply, related job-losses and above inflation electricity tariff hikes, the payment of performance bonuses to Eskom executives cannot be tolerated.”

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