OVERVIEW #StateCaptureInquiry: Mabuza vows to get back Eskom's stolen millions

2019-02-22 16:15

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will resume at 09:00 on Monday, with Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza continuing with his testimony.

Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza. (File, AFP)

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Last Updated at 18:20
22 Feb 16:48

Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza highlighted the following to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture after the lunch break:

1. Information indicate that former CFO Matshela Koko distributed confidential Eskom information via email to Gupta business associate Salim Essa

2. Former acting CEO of Eskom Sean Marits resigned following a suspension relating to withholding information that he authorised a payment of almost R400m to China's Huarong Energy Africa

3. Mabuza declined to have coffee with a Huarong chairperson

4. Load shedding can't be solved by Eskom alone

5. Engineers have responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa's Thuma Mina call offering to help fix Eskom

6. Eskom has been able to recover about R1bn from McKingsey and in the process of getting R600m from Trillian

7. While the board embarked on criminal charges by handing over information to the Hawks, no civil charges have been laid against rogue former executives

8. Former Eskom board member George Sebulela repeatedly denied his links to EOH that was in the running for a multibillion-rand Eskom tender

WATCH | State Capture Inquiry courtesy of SABC

Part 1

Part 2

22 Feb 16:32

Eskom was the 'main theatre where corruption and state capture was taking place' - Mabuza

When Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza took office at the state-owned entity in January 2018, he found that it was the "main theatre where corruption and state capture was taking place".

Mabuza was giving evidence at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday, where he testified about the state that the power utility was in at the time that he joined the Eskom board.

Mabuza testified about a Treasury report, which recommended remedial action to rid the power utility of impropriety, and said the current board had not yet seen it.

Evidence leader, advocate Vincent Maleka, SC, asked: "Why would a report such as this not be tabled before a board whose mandate was to clean up allegations of impropriety, at least with the Tegeta set of contracts?"

He was referring to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, formerly owned by the Gupta family, which is at the centre of state capture allegations. Tegeta, which started to experience operational challenges, made headlines after it received a 2016 contract, which involved a R600m pre-payment, for the supply of coal to Eskom.

22 Feb 16:07

22 Feb 15:58

22 Feb 15:56
Maleka asks Mabuza if the new board has reflected on the primary causes of load shedding that hit the country recently

22 Feb 15:45

22 Feb 15:45

22 Feb 15:36

22 Feb 15:33
Koko faced accusations of distributing confidential Eskom information to Gupta business associate Salim Essa

22 Feb 15:27

22 Feb 15:20

22 Feb 15:19

22 Feb 15:14
Mabuza says no civil claims have been laid against rogue Eskom execs yet

22 Feb 15:13
Mabuza explains that when he visited Megawatt Park with the new CEO, Maritz failed to disclose that 30 days prior to this he had signed documents committing Eskom to a payment of nearly R400m to a Hong Kong bank account.

22 Feb 14:58

Mabuza is now quizzed on Eskom's former interim CEO Sean Maritz who resigned from the power utility in March last year.

He was named Eskom's interim group chief executive in early October 2017, taking over from Johnny Dladla. At the time the power utility's board said Maritz's appointment was part of a decision to rotate the interim chief executive position.

22 Feb 14:52

22 Feb 14:49

To explain the severity of the Eskom crisis, Mabuza says the board had 61 meetings, with each meeting lasting about 8 hours.

"The disfunctionality is manifest by the amount of time the non-executives spent at Eskom."

22 Feb 14:46

22 Feb 14:34

22 Feb 14:34
Mabuza is now talking about corruption at Eskom

22 Feb 14:25
Mabuza says the weekend papers got the story and started seeking answers. He drafted a resignation for Sebolela who then sent the draft resignation back to him. He accepted the resignation.

22 Feb 14:14

Mabuza indicates that Sebulela resigned from the board in October 2018 due to an undeclared interest in a tender.

"Long before he joined the board, he had a relationship of being a sub contractor to one of the bidders (EOH)"

22 Feb 14:13

22 Feb 13:08

No one would buy Eskom, even if it sold for R1 - leading economist 

The debate around the privatisation of Eskom is a "myth", according to economist Dr Iraj Abedian, who says he hasn’t met a single investor who would buy the power utility’s assets – even if they were sold "for a rand".

"There’s nothing in Eskom that any private, sensible investor would want to buy, when talking about privatisation.

"What are you smoking?" Abedian asked a panel discussion on the budget speech in Cape Town on Friday. 

Trade unions are opposed to the separation of Eskom into three separate entities as part of the restructuring process, saying it will cause job losses and lead to the private sector controlling the provision of essential services.

22 Feb 13:03

Zondo calls for the lunch adjournment. 

Proceedings resume at 14:00.

22 Feb 13:02

22 Feb 12:57

22 Feb 12:44

22 Feb 12:38

Mabuza: "It's called corruption; the name is corruption, but the game is procurement."

22 Feb 12:32

Mabuza says people in office were duly authorised to make pre-payments, and he hopes that over the course of this commission it is established that office bearers should not abuse that authority. Mabuza says when the new board took office, the funders of Eskom had "drawn a line" in the ground, and would not give Eskom money under the previous board's leadership.

22 Feb 12:21

Mabuza says he does not understand how a "guarantee" was given to Tegeta by Eskom. Mabuza says his current board would not have approved the guarantee, but he knows the previous board did. Mabuza says it would be incorrect to say that Eskom has not suffered because of this guarantee, which cost the power utility "R650 000" (per quarter, while the guarantee was in place).

22 Feb 12:07

22 Feb 12:05

Mabuza says his board is already dealing with the issues related to the procurement of coal and they have exhausted their own disciplinary processes, and handed over to the Hawks for criminal prosecutions and will begin with civil lawsuits.

Mabuza points out that the disciplinary process of former Eskom executive Matshela Koko is related to the Tegeta contract and it's unfortunate that he resigned before the disciplinary hearing. 

22 Feb 12:04

22 Feb 12:02

Mabuza accepts that the Eskom board should have implemented the remedial actions recommended in the report from National Treasury.

22 Feb 11:54

22 Feb 11:52

22 Feb 11:48

22 Feb 11:47

22 Feb 11:43

22 Feb 11:37

22 Feb 11:35

Back from the break, Maleka now focuses on the date of Mabuza's appointment as chair at Eskom.

22 Feb 11:18

Before Maleka delves any further into the raft of documents before him, he suggests to Zondo that they take the tea adjournment for now. 

Proceedings resume at 11:30.

22 Feb 11:14

22 Feb 11:07

22 Feb 11:06

Mabuza: "Firstly, yes, I bought 6% of Sphere, for R26-million, which I paid for from my after-tax money." 

Mabuza: "I resigned on the 23rd of January. Once I was back in the country I then enlisted the services of that particular department in Standard Bank. I had actually had my office at Sphere, I had actually been paid a certain stipend at Sphere, and I have never been to Sphere since that day. I have never received any information about what's happening in the business at Sphere, other than the last time I received a dividend." 

Mabuza says he has left the matter with the Standard Bank trust office, and was blind to the details.

22 Feb 10:58

Mabuza says he knew he no longer had any privacy when he accepted the position of Eskom chair, "and I'm cool with that".

22 Feb 10:56

22 Feb 10:56

22 Feb 10:49

Mabuza clarifies: "I got the call from minister Brown on the 19th of January." 

Mabuza says the appointment of the new board, including himself, was publicly announced "on the 22nd of January". 

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