Eskom Chairman Mabuza back in the hot seat at Zondo Inquiry

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JOHANNESBURG, February 25 – Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza will be back at the Zondo Inquiry on Monday, where he will continue his testimony about corruption at the power utility.

On Friday, Mabuza detailed charges levelled against Eskom’s former acting chief executive, Matshela Koko, who was accused of distributing confidential documents about consulting services to a third party, Salim Essa, believed to be an associate of the notorious Gupta family.

Mabuza read a letter which stated that Koko sent confidential documents to the email address “businessmaninfoportal1@zoho.com” which was linked to Essa. He did so using a personal email account between July and December 2015.

Mabuza also said the first disciplinary process which cleared Koko of any wrongdoing “was a sham”. He said that the new board had preferred additional charges against Koko, including breach of powers of his position. He said Koko and his legal team had been notified of the additional charges.

However, Koko resigned hours before the second disciplinary hearing, instituted by the new board, could be heard.

Mabuza told the Commission that the present board of directors discovered that the power utility was “the main stage in the theatre of corruption” when it was appointed in January 2018.

He said Eskom has laid criminal charges against former executives who were implicated in Eskom’s coal contracts with Gupta family’s Tegeta Exploration and Resources. The R600 million prepayment is also being probed by authorities.

The implicated former executives include; Koko, chief financial officer Anoj Singh, acting chief executive Sean Maritz, Edwin Mabelane, acting chief procurement officer Charles Kalima, head of legal and compliance Suzanne Daniels, group head of capital Abram Masango, and acting head of group capital Prish Govender.

On Friday it was incorrectly stated that former group head of generation, Thava Govender, was the one named by Mabuza.

Mabuza also denied any conflict of interest despite owning a six percent stake in Sphere Holdings, an investment holding company whose subsidiary carries out maintenance work on a third of Eskom’s boilers.

He said he had resigned from companies that do business with Eskom. Mabuza told the commission led by deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, that he put all his investments into a blind Trust, which he was not involved within its day-to-day operations.

– African News Agency (ANA)