Anoj Singh, the former Eskom CFO.

CAPE TOWN - Anoj Singh, the former Eskom CFO reportedly earned R4.6 million at the state-owned entity. 

Singh appeared before the Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises' inquiry into state capture at Eskom on Tuesday 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

The R4.6 million does not include his contributions to his pension. 

During his testimony Singh was asked about his roles at Eskom. 

He admitted that he played a very central part in managing the assets at Eskom.

Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh earned R4.6m at the power utility, excluding pension contributions.

He was answering a question posed to him about his roles and responsibilities.

He said he is aware that he had the important role of managing the assets at the state-owned enterprise.

Singh also noted that he was proud of the work he had achieved at Eskom. 

"Particularly in the 2015/16 financial year the Ebitda was R32bn."

GUPTA FAMILY

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.

LYING

Singh was later accused of lying about who really paid for his travels to Dubai and ducking questions about suspect transactions he approved in his testimony before the parliamentary inquiry.

After more than four hours of questions and roundabout answers, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan said Singh, who resigned on the eve of his appearance, charged that Singh's testimony was a farce.

"It is now about four to five hours that we have heard this refrain - 'that was nine months, a year ago'," Gordhan said of Singh's repeated objection that he had not been asked to prepare for questions about a particular Eskom transaction.

"You are lying, you are evasive, you are less than helpful, and we are going to come to worse conclusions. Do you think we are little children?" the former National Treasury chief snapped.

This came as Singh insisted that he believed there had been approval from National Treasury for a deal that bound the utility to pay a R400m "signature fee" to an offshore entity for raising a $2 billion loan from China to build or refurbish power stations.

Singh suggested that the problem was that a memorandum on which he had based his decision to sign the term sheet for contract was not before the committee.

It earned him one of many rebukes from evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.

"You are very evasive on issues where you had a direct responsibility and where things went wrong," he said.

Singh denied that he had given false information to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, resulting in her misleading Parliament by replying to a question on whether "any contracts of engagement have been concluded" between Eskom and the Gupta-linked Trillian and "what are the costs involved in each case", firstly "none" and secondly "not applicable".

He said technically the response had been accurate but the full picture was not given because "ancillary information had been removed".

Gordhan called Singh a "delinquent" director who had flouted the Public Finance Management Act and part of a "vast conspiracy" to funnel taxpayers'  money to the Gupta family.

Read More: I do not have a personal relationship with the Guptas - Anoj Singh

Also Read: #EskomInquiry: Gordhan accuses Anoj Singh of lying

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE