Eskom’s bombshells in parliament

Session in Parliament: File Photo
Session in Parliament: File Photo

 The publication has compiled snippets of some of the shocking revelations‚ made by former officials.

This week the inquiry showed the intensity of Gupta influence on Eskom and a meeting held at short notice at night to push through big deals.

-Eskom’s head of legal compliance Suzanne Daniels revealed details of a meeting at which Ajay Gupta‚ Duduzane Zuma‚ deputy minister Ben Martins‚ Salim Esa and an unknown Chinese woman had been present. They were discussing the court proceedings involving former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

Daniels alleges that Gupta had suggested he could see to it that proceedings against Molefe were delayed.

-Eskom finance director Tsholofelo Molefe raised her concerns about two Gupta-linked contracts‚ one of which could have cost Eskom up to half a billion rand‚ before they were signed but these concerns were pushed aside by Eskom leadership. Molefe testified her concerns around two contracts that then-acting CEO Collin Matjila signed with Regiment Capital and with newspaper The New Age for the New Age breakfast shows. The Regiment Capital contract was to provide a financial sustainability plan‚ which Matjila insisted needed to be treated as urgent because it was to be presented to the public enterprises minister in June 2014.

-Molefe also told the inquiry that she resisted Matjila’s efforts to procure from Gupta-aligned companies and was eventually suspended in March 2015‚ along with Tshediso Matona‚ executive for group capital Dan Marokane and head of generation Matshela Koko. Only Koko — who has once again been suspended because of allegedly suspect contracts — was eventually taken back by Eskom in 2015.

-On Tuesday former Eskom group executive for enterprise development Erica Johnson described Matjila’s role in unilaterally concluding a three-year R43-million contract with Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age to host monthly business breakfasts at R1.2-million per event.

-Eskom’s former company secretary says she is “convinced there must have been some undue influence” in the setting up of a late night meeting to approve the prepayment of almost R600-million to Tegeta last year.

Suzanne Daniels‚ who was the group company secretary of Eskom at the time‚ said she received a call from the chairman of the board tender committee‚ Zethemba Khosa‚ after 7pm on the night of 11 April 2016.

Khosa requested that she set up an emergency meeting about the coal supply for the Hendrina mine. Daniels said she had reservations about setting up the meeting on a Friday night and suggested that it rather take place on the Monday.

She received the documentation for the meeting shortly before 8pm and set about making calls and sending text messages to members of the committee. At the meeting‚ the decision was made to pay R586-million to Tegeta.

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