IN QUOTES | Former Eskom board chair Zola Tsotsi's testimony on Zuma, Gupta and Dudu Myeni 'interference'

09 September 2020 - 09:56 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Former Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi told the state capture inquiry that the Guptas 'could demand whatever they wanted without consequence'. File photo.
Former Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi told the state capture inquiry that the Guptas 'could demand whatever they wanted without consequence'. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

Former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi told the state capture inquiry that government 'interfered' with operations at the power utility. He implicated Tony Gupta, former SAA boss Dudu Myeni and former president Jacob Zuma.

He testified on Tuesday, a day after the appearance of former CEO Tshediso Matona.

Here are six quotes from his testimony:

Myeni knew too much about Eskom

“From Miss Myeni's perspective, I was very surprised  she knew so much about what was happening at Eskom, and that making such a radical proposition [about an inquiry] is not something she could have come up with. I don't believe it originated with her. I don't believe so.”

Questioning Myeni's involvement at Eskom

“This is the question which I did not address at that meeting, but it's something that preoccupied me to the extent that I decided to call her to ask her: 'What's going on? Where is this coming from and how do you come into this picture?' She did not avail herself to talk about this.”

Being threatened by the Guptas 

"It was common knowledge among government officials that they certainly had the attention of the president and were close enough to the president to threaten people with 'Baba', as they call him. They did the same to me, so I suppose they felt that if they had that kind of leverage, they could demand whatever they wanted without consequences.”

Tony Gupta wanted to appoint an ally at Eskom

“There was a time when Tony Gupta had wanted a particular individual to be employed by Eskom in procurement. There was a position of a chief procurement officer, or so he thought. He wanted me to help him get that person into the company. In fact, he didn't even refer to it as a vacancy, he said there is a position.”

Zuma postponed board meeting in 2015

“I received a call from Jacob Zuma and he stated he had been trying to get in touch with  then-minister Lynne Brown and he was not successful . He tried to find the deputy minister and didn't find them either. Ultimately he found the acting director-general at the time, who was Matsietsi Mokholo.

"He said to me the meeting tomorrow will not take place. He said I will be contacted by the acting DG with regards to that as he was just giving me a forewarning that the meeting is not going to take place.”

Zuma interference was strange 

“I didn't understand the reason I got a message from the president to this effect. I felt I needed to raise that issue with the minister. I could have asked him why he wanted the meeting postponed but I felt that in terms of my communication to the board, I would have had to have consulted the minister.”

 

- TimesLIVE

Former president Jacob Zuma was set to appear at the state capture inquiry this week. However, his lawyers said he was preparing for his criminal trial, and was advised by his doctor to limit his movements because his age increases his risks during the Covid-19 pandemic.Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said he would send the former president a summons to appear in front of the inquiry in November 2020.


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