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The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for the immediate suspension of PetroSA’s interim Board Chairperson, Nkululeko Poya, pending the outcome of investigations into his fitness to hold office. Considering the seriousness of the allegations that he is facing, it is highly irresponsible to let him continue working as the chairperson of the board when a cloud of suspicion hangs over his head.
Allegations against Poya are that he created a fraudulent court order, purported to be from the North Gauteng High Court, which he submitted to PetroSA to facilitate his appointment as the CEO. Still, even with a chequered past at other state owned agencies where he had held senior management positions, the Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, did not conduct any due diligence before he appointed him as substantive CEO of PetroSA.
The DA has since submitted parliamentary questions to Mantashe asking that he provides clarity on the due diligence reports he considered before taking the decision to appoint Poya as CEO. Mantashe should explain why Poya’s dismal record at other state agencies such as the Railway Safety Regulator and the Housing Development Agency failed to raise red flags in the decision to appoint him at PetroSA.
While Mantashe is said to have asked Poya to furnish him with a written response, including an affidavit in relation to the validity and existence of the alleged fraudulent court order, the investigation will lose any credibility for as long as Poya continues to act the interim board Chair of PetroSA. Poya must be relieved of his duties so that he does not interfere with the investigation and possibly compromise evidence against him.
Even though he is standing in an acting capacity as the Chair of the Board, he is part of the senior accounting team at PetroSA. This means that the serious allegations that he is facing, of forging court documents and being investigated by the Office of the Chief Justice, render him unfit to handle the corporate affairs of the organisation. Unless he is cleared of these serious allegations, Poya must be placed on suspension with immediate effect.
Issued by Kevin Mileham MP - DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy