Daniels slams Eskom for 'victimisation and harassment' after new charges

Johannesburg -  Eskom whistle-blower Suzanne Daniels on Monday hit back at the power utility for what she called “victimisation and harassment” after the firm slapped her with another suspension.

The fresh suspension came after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) declared her previous suspension as “unfair” – ordering her to return to work.

 “I regard this third suspension as extremely unfair conduct and I am of the view that it amounts to victimisation and harassment, ” Daniels told Fin24.

She now faces charges of “serious misconduct”.

The power utility said the charges stem from a 2017 matter, which was not covered in the recent CCMA ruling.

Daniels is accused of “distributing confidential information, settlement of the McKinsey-Trillian matter and payments made to McKinsey and Trillian, as well as her involvement in the Optimum and Tegeta prepayments and guarantee issued by Eskom”, the company said in a statement.

Eskom said “it would not be correct for Daniels to return to Eskom at this stage”.

Daniels has been asked to give reasons why she should not be suspended.

“She has made representations and Eskom is considering these and will make a decision on whether or not to suspend her in the next couple of days,” the utility said.

The CCMA awarded her five months' pay as compensation and ordered that she be allowed to return to work on Monday.

The Eskom company secretary and head of Legal and Compliance, had lifted the lid on meetings she had with Ajay Gupta and his alleged attempt to exert influence at Eskom.

In November 2017, Daniels testified before the public enterprises committee’s inquiry into state capture, detailing the influence of the Guptas and their business associates on the affairs of the state-owned enterprise.

Daniels was suspended in October 2017 after she ordered the law firm Bowman Gilffillan to issue letters of demand to McKinsey & Co and the Gupta-linked Trillian Capital Partners for payments the companies had allegedly received without valid contracts.

She was also probed over a team building exercise she organised  at the luxury Kievits Kroon Country Estate in Pretoria.

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