Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa is the latest to weigh in on the tense parliamentary briefing that saw Eskom board member Busisiwe Mavuso walkout, saying it could have been handled differently.
Last week Mavuso was told to leave a meeting with the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) after she said it was the ANC-led government’s failures that caused damage at Eskom over the years.
She claimed she was defending an insinuation about Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s performance being the reason for the power utility’s failures.
During the meeting Mavuso said the board should be held accountable for the decisions made during their tenure, but could not answer for matters that predate the board. She said De Ruyter and the board would not be the “fall guy” for the mess the power utility is currently experiencing.
Speaking to CapeTalk, Shilowa said Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa overreacted when he told Mavuso to leave the meeting.
He said Mavuso could have used a different tone, “but there was no need for her to have been asked to leave”.
“Could she have handled the matter differently? Not in terms of raising the issues, but I don’t think she should have offered to leave. She should have stayed there and, if asked, she could explain where she’s coming from,” said Shilowa.
Shilowa said he was not defending Mavuso but pointing out that Hlengwa was wrong.
According to Shilowa, the bigger mess lies with the public enterprises department and it should be held accountable for its role in Eskom’s problems.
“The thing for me that I find hypocritical is the department saying she was unprofessional and all that. This is a department whose minister has not done an interview regarding Eskom for more than a year, who is not willing to be held accountable by the media on behalf of the public on this matter. So it is a bigger mess that needs to be sorted out,” he said.