Zondo commission switches to state capture at Eskom

This week marked a new chapter in the mandate of the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, as it turned its focus to allegations of corruption relating to Eskom.

Eskom will be the first of a number of state-owned entities to be probed by the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

In the coming weeks, the commission will hear evidence from Eskom executives, whistle-blowers and business people. The commission’s first witness on matters relating to Eskom will be its board chair, Jabu Mabuza.

Mabuza’s testimony on Friday will focus on the attempts by the power utility’s new board to root out corruption. Mabuza will outline the disciplinary steps taken against those facing charges of misconduct relating to state capture allegations.

His evidence will be followed by the testimony of Eskom executive Thabani Mashego, who scuppered the Gupta family’s attempts to secure a coal contract for their mining company, Tegeta. Former Eskom official Andries Bester will also give evidence relating to the Tegeta contract.

Former Glencore chief executive Clinton Ephron will also take the stand. Ephron was Glencore’s chief executive at the time it sold its Optimum coal mine to Tegeta, a transaction that was helped along by Eskom with a R659-million pre-payment.

Piers Marsden, the business rescue practitioner in charge of Optimum, will also testify about the controversial acquisition.

Evidence leader Vincent Maleka SC indicated that the commission took its cue from Parliament’s public enterprises portfolio committee Eskom inquiry report, one of the 12 reports on the power utility put on record by the commission’s legal team on Wednesday.

The reports set before the commission implicate a wide range of players in the state capture project as it manifested at Eskom.

Those implicated include erstwhile Eskom executives Matshela Koko, Anoj Singh and Brian Molefe. Findings have also been made against former public enterprises ministers Lynne Brown and Malusi Gigaba, as well as former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Gupta-linked Trillian Capital and international management consulting firm McKinsey are also at the centre of these earlier investigations. 

These reports will serve as the starting point for the commission’s investigation, Maleka explained.

He also urged Zondo to invoke his powers to summon individuals implicated in allegations of state capture at Eskom.

“As far as we have been able to scan the history of previous inquiries on Eskom, very few individuals who have been implicated in allegations of state capture have been called upon or have had the initiative to present their own version of evidence relating to what implicates them,” Maleka said.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Explainer: Why it is difficult to mine in South Africa

The Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies is not entirely wrong, South Africa is a difficult place to mine, say analysts

Asiatic black bear cubs saved from illegal wildlife trade in...

Two bear cubs, weighing only 2.4kg and 3.3kg, were rescued from a man intending to sell them on the illicit wildlife market

Afrofuturism meets Wabi-Sabi at Design Joburg

Architects, fashion designers and tastemakers descend on Johannesburg’s premium design event

How the ANC wants to re-evaluate cadre deployment during policy...

The party's decision to relook at the deployment process could result in a broadening of the pool of candidates for positions.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×