For a country that is in hasty need of prosperity and national cohesion, the capture of juicy institutions is but a huge threat. Allegations of the attempted “capture” of PetroSA form part of an affidavit filed at the High Court in Cape Town by a former board member who has applied to have his axing overturned.

Former board member William Steenkamp alleges that the board was fired because it failed to support a partnership with a Russian firm linked to President Jacob Zuma.

Steenkamp said in his affidavit that untoward offers had been made that some board members resign in exchange for board positions in other state-owned companies.

Steenkamp has lodged an urgent application to set aside his axing and that of Owen Tobias‚ another board member‚ and for them to be reinstated.

In his affidavit‚ Steenkamp paints a rather bleak picture of a long-running power struggle between PetroSA and its shareholder‚ the Central Energy Fund (CEF).

He accuses the CEF’s former and current board of attempting to usurp the powers and functions of PetroSA and trying to take over its capital expenditure and procurement processes.