Given the current situation South Africa finds itself in, it's hard not to remember how about 10 million barrels of crude oil was sold at a shockingly low price in 2015. While the petrol is at a record-high price, one can't help but wonder if that black gold wouldn't have come in handy right about now.
The scandal surrounding the sale of all that crude oil at just $28 a barrel while the standard price was closer to $40, is one that was strangely easily forgotten.
Even today, investigators into that incident are left with more questions than answers.
The SFF (South African Strategic Fuel Fund) sold millions of barrels of oil for peanuts. What makes this incident even more bitter, is the fact that the oil wasn't extra stock. That oil was part of SA's private oil reserves.
By the time the oil already left South African shores, there was a lot of chaos and finger pointing was going on.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the then-Minister of Energy, actually denied any such sale, according to a report by The South African.
She claimed it was simply a 'strategic rotation of oil resources’. She resigned soon after.
Her replacement, Mmamoloko Kubayi, went on to state that there was, in fact, a sale of crude oil.
The state-owned Central Energy Fund was involved in the sale and appeared before Parliament but simply shrugged off the allegations of corruption.
It is believed that officials within the CEF worked alongside Joemat-Petterson on a get-real-rich-real-quick scheme.
The main buyer of the oil was Glencore, and Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO, is a close business associate of President Ramaphosa. The president has investments in Glencore.
According to those who investigated the crude oil deal, the loss caused by it could be anything between R1,5 billion and R2,2 billion.
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