#GuptaEmails: Public Enterprises boss on 'extended leave'
Department fires back after govt source says the director general, who figured in Gupta e-mails, has been sidelined
Richard Seleke, the director general of the Department of Public Enterprises, is on “extended leave”.
Seleke, who was implicated in the Gupta e-mails as having leaked sensitive and confidential information to the family, has been on leave since the end of March and is due to return at the end of April, according to the department.But a government source close to the matter claimed he had been on leave since mid-March, and had been due to return in mid-April but had extended his leave until the end of April.
“He is on leave, which is quite unusual. He was due to come back this week, but it was extended for two weeks. He has been effectively sidelined,” the source said.
However acting director general Makgola Makololo said Seleke was still the director general.
“He had requested extended leave from the end of March 2018 and he is still on leave until the end of April 2018.“We are aware of wide-ranging allegations of state capture within government and state-owned companies. Where these allegations are found to have substance – through evidence presented to the minister as well as through internal investigations – the DPE will act decisively,” she said.
Seleke did not respond to text messages seeking comment on Wednesday.Last June, the Sunday Times revealed that six months before Seleke was appointed as director-general in December 2015, his CV was e-mailed to former president Jacob Zuma’s son, a known business associate of the Gupta brothers.
The CV was e-mailed from “Business Man” to Zuma and signed “Regards, Richard”.
Seleke has denied sending his CV or having access to the Business Man e-mail account, which according to the Gupta e-mail leak was used regularly to share documents from within the department with Gupta lieutenants.
“That is not my e-mail address. Lots of people have my CV and I cannot be held accountable for things I have no control over,” Seleke told the Sunday Times last year.Last July, civil rights group Outa laid charges of corruption against Seleke.
Before being appointed director-general, Seleke was appointed as the head of the Free State department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs in October 2013, when Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane – who has faced repeated allegations over his dealings with the Guptas – was MEC. He was appointed to the Transnet board in December 2014.
Other e-mails from Business Man to the Guptas in 2015 revealed:
• Information on the controversial Denel Asia merger. In one, Business Man says two Denel officials suggested Dubai as a good location for Denel Asia offices.
• A “confidential” letter from the Department of Public Enterprises’s acting deputy director general of manufacturing enterprises, Vuyo Tlale, to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. It contains pre-notification of the proposed formation of Denel Asia.
• A memorandum from Eskom’s lawyers about the utility’s rights relating to Optimum Coal’s business-rescue proceedings. The Gupta family purchased Optimum Coal months later.