Eskom wrap-up: All the drama in the last 48 hours
Since the inquiry into state capture at Eskom began in October, there has been enough drama and accusations to script a reality TV show.
On Tuesday, at midnight, Eskom’s disgraced former chief financial officer Anoj Singh provided a 400-page document to the committee with the intent to answer questions a few hours later.
The committee was in uproar.
MP Marshall Dlamini asked Singh to “tell his friends”, the Guptas, to “respect Parliament and come on time”. DA MP Natasha Mazzone said that Singh’s midnight documents were “in contempt” of Parliament.
To further complicate matters, parliamentary committee chair Daphne Ratho told her fellow MPS that the Hawks arrived at Parliament to ask for her. She admitted to be being “disturbed”. Many in the committee said the Hawk’s actions may be seen as intimidation, but Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe, who acted as interim inquiry chair on Wednesday, said the Hawks were working alongside Scopa to aid the committee.
After the interruption with the Hawks, Wednesday’s inquiry continued with testimony from current acting Eskom chair, Zethembe Khoza.
Much of Khoza’s testimony removed himself from the decisions of previous Eskom boards – from Brian Molefe’s R30-million payout to denying Eskom’s involvement in Tegeta – testifying that it was all “before his time”.
Khoza did admit that Brian Molefe’s R30-million payout was an “administrative error” and, subsequently, Khoza would rate Eskom’s corporate governance as a three because of the energy utilities high turnover of chief executives and senior managers. In the last decade, the utility has had five chairpersons and 10 chief executive officers.
Other scandals over the last two days of the inquiry saw the subpoena of deputy minister of public enterprises Ben Martins and the response of businessperson Ajay Gupta.
Martins was expected to respond on Wednesday to Eskom’s former legal head Suzanne Daniels who alleged that Ajay Gupta, Salim Essa and Duduzane Zuma met in a Melrose Arch apartment. Martins failed to appear at the inquiry. Instead, he sent a written statement in his place. MPs said that Martin’s written testimony “would not suffice”.
The Gupta family lawyers issued two letters to the parliamentary committee on Wednesday, asking to respond to allegations made against his family, but on his terms.
Rantho returned to chair the inquiry and adjourned it for December. She told the committee that it had “done very good work” by showing a “bold and unwavering attitude,” even if the inquiry did “touch on some nerves.”
The Eskom inquiry will resume next year with testimonies from Singh and Ajay Gupta.