Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza told the Zondo Commission that important decisions were being made by people outside of its appointed structures. Picture: Screengrab

Johannesburg - Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza told the Zondo Inquiry on Monday that important decisions about the power utility were being made by people outside of its appointed structures.

Speaking about how Gupta-linked individuals would send instructions to Eskom executives about guarantees and coal contracts, Mabuza said the board has made a conclusion that Eskom was being run from outside of its offices in 2015.

"Outsiders would decide what to do. They draft [decisions] and they send [it through] and they put on the Eskom letterhead or they put it in front of the board, the board would approve and that would become an Eskom decision," Mabuza said. 

"Eskom was run outside Eskom."

Earlier in the day, Mabuza reiterated his allegation that emails retrieved from former acting CEO Matshela Koko's server show that Eskom's confidential documents were, in 2015, sent to the email address which was linked to Salim Essa, believed to be an associate of the notorious Gupta family.

For instance, Mabuza read an email allegedly from Koko about a Round Robin Resolution then by the board and proposing a R1.6 billion Eskom guarantee for the Gupta's Optimum Coal Mine in 2015. The resolution, which purported to be an Eskom resolution, was about what Eskom should do with a mine the Gupta family wanted to buy from Gencore.

Mabuza said the Round Robin Resolution was drafted by an external company, Regiments Capital, in preparation of it [Regiments] to offer the very same services to Eskom. 

Regiments, McKinsey and Trillian were paid R1.5 billion in respect of the contracts awarded between 2012 and 2016 despite not producing supporting documents.

Mabuza also read an email allegedly from former CEO of Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources, Nazeem Howa, to former Eskom head of legal and compliance, Suzanne Daniels, about the coal supply agreement with Optimum Coal and which Daniels allegedly had to put under an Eskom letterhead.

Other emails also linked former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh for allegedly leaking confidential Eskom documents to Regiments CEO, Eric Wood, and vice versa in which Wood gave Singh banking details of Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources.

Mabuza said Eskom has laid four charges against Koko, among others, for lying to parliament and for sending confidential corporate information to Essa.

As for Daniels, Mabuza said the power utility preferred three charges against her for sending emails to Essa, for her role on the McKinsey matter and the Optimum Coal, and also for paying about R800 000 from Eskom's money in legal fees for former board chairperson Ben Ngubane for his hearings at the SABC.

The Commission has adjourned after Mabuza concluded his testimony. It will resume on Tuesday but the next witness has not been named yet.

African News Agency (ANA)