Former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane. Picture: Mlandeli Puzi/Parliament of RSA
Former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane. Picture: Mlandeli Puzi/Parliament of RSA

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry – September 10, 2020

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 10, 2020

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Johannesburg – Former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane is expected to testify at the Zondo commission on Thursday morning.

The inquiry will also hear evidence from a former Eskom board member, Venete Klein.

On Tuesday, former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi took the stand.

Tsotsi was questioned about three meetings he attended with Tony Gupta in 2014.

At the time he was the chairperson of Eskom's board.

WATCH FEED HERE

Tsotsi explained that the first meeting took place at the Gupta residence in Saxonwold. Gupta was interested in Tsotsi supporting the family's desire to enter into a gas contract with Eskom in the Western Cape.

Tsotsi said he explained that he had no knowledge of such a contract but agreed he would make enquiries on behalf of Gupta.

On the second meeting, which also took place at Saxonwold, Gupta asked Tsotsi if he could ensure that a "guy of his" who was then employed at MTN be appointed as the head of procurement at Eskom.

Tsotsi said he expressed his reservations but investigated whether such a role existed.

"I said they would have to ask people in procurement if there was a position. I thought he (Gupta) was looking for a form of support. I think he wanted me to pull strings for him. I established later that the person did go and work for Eskom," Tsotsi explained.

In the third meeting, which took place at the Gupta's Sahara Computer offices in Midrand, Tstotsi said Gupta wanted him to intervene in an Eskom audit which found that Eskom's sponsorship of The New Age newspaper was irregularly entered into.

Tsotsi said Gupta became visibly upset when he explained that he was unable to interfere on behalf of the family.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the inquiry, probed Tsotsi on why he felt it necessary to entertain meetings with Gupta.

Zondo also took issue with why Tsotsi, like many other witnesses that had admitted to attending meetings with the Guptas, chose to go to the family's house instead of holding the meetings somewhere else.

Tsotsi explained that it was well established that the Gupta family would ask everyone to meet at their residence.

Zondo also questioned Tsotsi on what he feared would happen if he did not attend a meeting with the family.

Tsotsi conceded that he feared being seen as an "enemy of ubaba" as the Guptas would often use Zuma's name if someone refused to assist the family.

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