The purpose of the meeting was to decide on the way forward regarding the repeated failure of Brigadier Jap Burger to appear before the Committee regarding allegations of corruption at Eskom, as alleged by its former CEO, Mr Andre de Ruyter. Up to this point, the Committee had invited Brig Burger to meet with them on multiple occasions but he repeatedly failed to appear.
The Committee resolved to issue a legal summons to Brig Burger for an appearance set for 15 November 2023.
The Chairperson greeted the Members of the Committee, and provided Members with an overview of the proceedings leading up to this meeting.
The issue of Brigadier Jap Burger was brought up when allegations of corruption and fraudulent activities were alleged by the former CEO of Eskom, Mr Andre de Ruyter, in a media interview on 23 February 2023. Mr de Ruyter cited members of law enforcement that he had met with regarding these allegations and mentioned Brig Burger in direct engagement with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts(Scopa). Brig Burger was invited to engage with the Committee on 7 June 2023 and 12 September 2023 and on both occasions, Brig Burger did not appear. Brig Burger had not submitted official apologies on either occasion to the Secretary or the Chairperson of the Committee.
The Chairperson clarified that according to the constitutional mandate of Scopa, it was within their jurisdiction to pursue a meeting with Brig Burger. The Committee is set to deliberate on whether a legal summons must be issued to Brig Burger at this stage.
Ms B Van Minnen (DA) stated that the Committee had tried on numerous occasions to accommodate Brig Burger which was met with little effort from his side. It was previously agreed upon that the Committee should subpoena Brig Burger if this continues. She supported the idea of legally pursuing an engagement with Brig Burger.
Mr B Hadebe (ANC) agreed with Ms Van Minnen and stated that it was within the power of the Committee to subpoena Brig Burger.
The Chairperson took the matter to a vote wherein the Committee overwhelmingly agreed with the invocation of a subpoena for a meeting with Brig Burger. He called upon Parliament Legal Services to guide the Committee through the next steps of this process.
The Secretary confirmed that the date on which Brig Burger will be summoned would be 15 November 2023.
Ms Fatima Ebrahim, Parliament Legal Advisor, informed the Committee that they would have to all collectively sign a memo requesting concurrence which must be approved. Thereafter, the Chairperson must request the Secretary to Parliament to sign the summons and issue it to Brig Burger. She clarified that the date of 15 November was decided upon to ensure that Brig Burger had enough time to prepare for his appearance before the Committee, but advised that the Secretary of Scopa should urgently write to him to advise him that he will be receiving a summons as decided upon by the Committee.
The Chairperson requested any further comments or concerns from the Committee. In the absence of further comments, the Chairperson closed the meeting.
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