Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh. Henk Kruger
JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh on Tuesday denied he had a personal relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

Singh appeared before the Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises' inquiry into state capture at Eskom to answer to allegations that he received an illicit R400 million secret payment in an offshore entity.

Singh is accused of being one of the main men used by the controversial family to forward their agenda of state capture, by using his senior roles in Transnet and Eskom to facilitate the awarding of various contracts to the family's business

During his testimony, the disgraced former CFO revealed that neither the Guptas nor their associates had paid for his stays in Dubai. 

This despite evidence revealing that Singh’s trips to Dubai were paid and organised by Gupta-owned company Sahara Computers.

 "I do not have a personal relationship with the Gupta family," he said. 

When asked whether he has declared to Eskom his meetings with the Gupta family, Singh said Eskom policing did not necessitate declaring as there is no conflict of interest.

“In all my interactions with [the Guptas], we have never actually discussed, as I can recall, any business... relating to Eskom or Transnet,” said Singh.

He further denied owning a shell company in Dubai, and disputed evidence before the committee.

“There is no company registered in my name globally. The SA Reserve Bank contacted me [about] my alleged bank accounts and assets and liabilities offshore... I made a declaration that I am not aware of these... entities or bank accounts,” said Singh.

Singh resigned from his position at the power utility a day before his appearance before the committee.

He was placed on special leave at the end of July 2017 by Eskom's Board of Directors until an investigation into his conduct had been concluded.

His suspension followed mounting allegations that he was involved in irregularly awarding contracts to Gupta-linked businesses, while receiving gifts and trips from the family.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown took a decision to put Singh on special leave following a threat by the Development Bank of SA (DBSA) that it would retract its R15bn loan if no action was taken against Singh. 

Eskom inquiry chairperson, Zukiswa Rantho however, said Singh’s resignation will not affect the committee in conducting the inquiry.

“We have to conduct our work in the best interest of the country, and I sincerely hope that we will continue with the same spirit this year. With all the developments that occured over the weekend, we stand firm as the continue and we will continue doing our oversight work in entities that are on our disposal and part of our portfolio committee,” said Rantho.

She said the committee welcomes the new board and is looking forward to working with it to ensure that a fruitful relationship is established.

“We acknowledge the appointment of the new job, the resignation of Mr Singh, but we are still going to continue to interact with him because to hear from him what happened during his time,” she added.

DA MP Natasha Mazzone meanwhile, tweeted on Monday evening that Singh "can run‚ but he can't hide".

"The case has been opened‚ the charges are being investigated. No resignation absolves him!! Tomorrow we meet him in Parly too!" - Mazzone tweeted. 

One more down! More to follow! Well done South Africans your countless marches and legal battles were not in vain! BREAKING: Embattled Eskom CFO Anoj Singh resigns 'with immediate effect' via @News24 https://t.co/9RoYMU6F8P

— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) January 22, 2018

Saftu on Tuesday, called for the former CFO to be criminally charged for both corruption and impropriety.

"Anoj and others have brought the country's power provider to the brink of bankruptcy, which would have devastating consequences for all South Africans and the country’s economy."


- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE