Former Eskom official challenges ex-acting CEO’s State capture evidence
Johannesburg - Former Eskom fuel resources senior manager Dr Ayanda Nteta on Tuesday disputed the evidence of the power utility’s erstwhile acting chief executive and board member Zethembe Khoza.
Nteta accused Khoza, at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, of making sweeping statements and extremely biased claims against her when he gave evidence last year.
Khoza suggested to the commission when he testified in December that Nteta played a key role in the awarding of a contract to supply Eskom coal to Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources and the controversial R659 million prepayment the company received from the power utility in April.
She said Khoza has made sweeping and very biased allegations about her when he (Khoza) was the chairperson of the board tender committee and a board member.
Nteta maintained she was merely a procurement official, tasked with putting submissions together.
”It’s unlikely that I would have influence on the Eskom board. I never interacted with Khoza,” she insisted.
She said she worked with former Eskom company secretary Suzanne Daniels because she was not sure how to prepare prepayment.
”I worked with her (Daniels), I did not collude with her. I take great offence to his statement,” Nteta said.
She testified she was not aware that Nazeem Howa, then chief executive of another Gupta-owned company, Oakbay Investments, informed Optimum Coal business rescue practitioner Piers Marsden that Tegeta Resources had a shortfall of R600m in its purchase of the-then Glencore-owned mine.
Howa told Marsden that the company had failed to get banks to defer payment or offer a bridging loan as the financial institutions refused.
Nteta also defended her role in Eskom’s dealings with the Gupta company, despite Optimum Coal’s business rescue practitioner indicating that they were not going to supply coal to the power utility.
She said Eskom needed coal and the option of waiting until the Guptas’ acquiring of Optimum Coal had been through was limited but not attractive.
Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he found it strange that the owner of the coal did not want to sell to Eskom and then a third party offered the power utility the coal, whose owner was unwilling to sell.
Justice Zondo likened the dealings between Eskom and Tegeta to collusion.