Dr Ben Ngubane will testify at the Zondo commission. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Dr Ben Ngubane will testify at the Zondo commission. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA) Archives

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry – October 13, 2020

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Oct 13, 2020

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Johannesburg – The Zondo commission resumes on Tuesday morning.

Former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane is expected back on the stand.

He has appeared twice before. His latest appearance was in September.

Ngubane was asked about his tenure at Eskom, specifically about emails that he and former Eskom employees Matshela Koko and Suzanne Daniels had shared with an outside source.

The commission raised evidence that an email address called Business Man had been linked to Gupta associate Salim Essa. This email address had received a lot of emails from Koko, Daniels and Ngubane.

WATCH FEED HERE

Ngubane denied that the email address belonged to Essa. He said he was aware all along that the email address belonged to Seleke as the director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

Ngubane was shown emails he received from this account. One email stated that Eskom's board should stop advertising spend on publications including the Sunday Times and the Mail & Guardian.

Another email had addressed Gupta-linked Tegeta’s bid to win tender contracts at Eskom.

Ngubane insisted that he knew nothing about Essa's links to the email address.

The idea of Eskom's board being influenced by outside sources such as the DPE raised Deputy Chief Justice Ray Zondo’s concerns.

He questioned why Eskom's board was constantly being bombarded with instructions from outside.

"Why did the D-G of DPE have to get involved in how Eskom media statements should be? The board should be able to make its own decisions. Why should it look like he was micromanaging the chairperson?" Zondo questioned.

Ngubane responded that it was a common occurrence that the board had to deal with requests from the DPE. He said even his predecessor, Zola Tsotsi, had often sent statements to be double-checked by DPE.

Ngubane was unhappy when asked about Tsotsi’s statements that he led a "Gupta board".

He accused Tsotsi of being linked to other dodgy tenders at the time.

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