IN QUOTES | 'Eskom suspensions were discussed before the inquiry', Nick Linnell testifies

06 October 2020 - 15:35
Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni's former consultant, Nick Linnell, has denied he was her 'fixer'.
Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni's former consultant, Nick Linnell, has denied he was her 'fixer'.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/THE TIMES

Dudu Myeni's former consultant, Nick Linnell, testified virtually at the state capture inquiry on Monday about the former SAA chairperson's role at Eskom.

Myeni, according to Linnell, had close ties with former president Jacob Zuma, for whom she facilitated the meeting which led the Eskom inquiry in March 2015. He said the state of Eskom was the main focus of the meeting, which concluded that an inquiry into the conduct of some of the power utility's executives was needed.

He denied he was Myeni's “fixer”, saying he worked with her at government-owned companies on many occasions.

Here are five quotes from his testimony:

Not Myeni's fixer 

“I think it's an unreasonable association or narrative to put it in the context that I was engaged in a number of instances where things were fixed. In the proper sense, that might be fairly attributed, but the narrative itself is probably unreasonable.”

Worked at SAA and Eskom

“I have performed services for Miss Dudu Myeni at the state enterprises where she has worked. It is correct that I worked at SAA and Eskom, so if that is interpreted as following her around, fixing problems, to that extent it would be correct. But it is not the right narrative to put in the functions that I performed.”

State of Eskom 

“I can't recall the extent to which she explained to me the background of the state of affairs at Eskom. I and every South African was very much aware of the state of Eskom at the time. No-one had any other idea than Eskom was in crisis.”

Zuma wanted Eskom inquiry

“My understanding in advance was that we were to discuss details of the proposed inquiry and to meet the president with regard to the proposed approach to it. There was a discussion about the state of Eskom.

“We went on to discuss what the proposed approach to that inquiry would be. The context was that the president wants an investigation into Eskom.”

Suspension of Eskom executives 

“There was definitely an extended discussion about the suspensions. It started with the principle of suspensions, why that was a good approach, which functionaries would be the appropriate people to suspend, that being premised on the heads of the departments which one would be looking into.

“Subsequent to that, the names of individuals in those positions would have been provided.”

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