Tuesday's front page of the Business Day reports that Energy Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi has suspended the directors of the Central Energy Fund and has told the fund to explain what happened when the strategic oil fund was sold off.
Over ten million barrels of oil from the fund were sold off in secret as the oil price was at record lows in December 2015 which meant that the people who bought the oil then made a huge profit.
Carol Paton, Business Day deputy editor tells the Midday Reports, Stephen Grootes that since their story was published, Kubayi declined public comment on the matter and later her office said she has given the board an extension.
What I think was the heist of the democratic era was these ten million barrels being sold off without anyone's knowledge, now being regarded as a scandal.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at Business Day
Paton says then energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson was approached by the Strategic Fuel Fund Association (SFF) and at the time called it a rotation.
In other words, they were saying we need to get fresh stock, but oil doesn't deteriorate which was a strange rationale.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at Business Day
Paton goes on to say that Joemat-Pettersson is on record to having received all the letters from the SFF.
We have tried on numerous occasions to determine her role in this but she hasn't decided to speak says Paton.
Paton explains the buyers would have been the biggest beneficiaries to the oil sales.
This article first appeared on 702 : '10 million barrels of oil sold off in secret is heist of the democratic era'