The testimony of controversial former Eskom chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh has been postponed at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, after a fault was found with the summons that ordered Singh to take the witness stand on Wednesday.
The hearing has been postponed to a date that has not been determined yet to allow Singh to submit a comprehensive affidavit to the commission by close of business on Monday January 18.
“Our client is not in a position to give evidence as set out herein. He was also not in a position to file his affidavit as per the directive because of the reasons set out herein,” said Singh’s legal counsel Anneline van den Heever. She said that the reason for Singh’s not being able to testify on Wednesday was outlined in an affidavit submitted to the commission on Wednesday.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he was not convinced by the reasons given by Van den Heever for Singh’s absence, but he nevertheless postponed his testimony after finding fault with the summons that ordered him to appear.
Evidence leader at the commission, Pule Seleka, said Singh was expected to give evidence relating to his secondment from Transnet to Eskom, including multimillion-rand contracts that were awarded to McKinsey and Trillian.
His evidence would have also included transactions relating to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a Gupta-linked company that was awarded a controversial R659 million pre-payment by Eskom after the company clinched a coal supply deal in 2015.
According to a previous witness at the commission, Snehal Nagar, who is an accountant in the primary energy division at Eskom, he told the commission that processes were flouted during the prepayment to Tegeta which was made on the same day that the company purchased the Optimum coal mine.
He said that the advance payment was for coal which Eskom had not received at the time the payment was made.
Nagar said on April 12 2016 he received an email from Ayanda Ntetha who testified yesterday that she had met with Tony Gupta on two occasions in Saxonwold without disclosing it to her supervisor, requesting that the R659 million be paid to Tegeta.
“In the context of what we do, the R659 million is not necessarily a high figure; what would have stuck out is the prepayment, which is unusual,” Nagar said at the time.
Singh, who is a glorified accountant, was stripped of his membership last year by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, after he was found guilty of improper conduct and gross negligence in breaching the code of professional conduct during his time at the parastatal. He was CFO at Eskom from 2015 to 2016.