Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. FILE PHOTO

Johannesburg - The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will on Wednesday begin hearing submissions and evidence into the capture of South Africa's power utility, Eskom.

The Gupta family, former president Jacob Zuma, some of his cabinet and his son Duduzane are the centre of the ongoing state capture probe.

The Guptas enjoyed a close relationship with the former president.

Some of the family's questionable state contracts emanated from Eskom coal supply tenders and sponsorship of the now-defunct TNA breakfast shows by the power utility.

Investigations by National Treasury and Parliament's public enterprises committee showed how the family was let loose at Eskom and plundered the power utility's R50 billion a year coal procurement budget.

In the report released late last year, parliamentarians found that governance at Eskom had been eroded over the past 10 years, with the calibre of top management and the board decreasing as a result of corruption and other unlawful activities.

''The corruption at Eskom has undoubtedly contributed to the substantial loss of public funds and in various instances resulted in severe job losses in some companies competing with the Gupta family-owned companies, hampered transformation and may have caused environmental damage," read the report.


Evidence before the committee suggests that Eskom’s internal assurance function was used to cover up possible irregularities that would fail to stand up to external scrutiny.

"This is exemplified in Eskom's assurance and forensics departments findings related to the Tegeta pre-payment and McKinsey/Trillian contracts and payments. These have since been proven to be flawed by independent reviews and the evidence considered by the committee,''  the report says.

The committee recommended that former public enterprises ministers Lynne Brown and Malusi Gigaba, along with former board members and executives appear before the Zondo-led commission to answer on the Eskom corruption during their tenures.

The top managers include former board chairpersons Zola Tsotsi and Ben Ngubane, former CEO Brian Molefe, former CFO Anoj Singh, former acting CEO Sean Maritz and Matshela Koko, who was Eskom's head of generation.

The committee said some of the officials failed, under oath, to answer ''fully and honestly'' questions put to them, and misrepresented Eskom’s internal policies in an attempt to legitimise unlawful conduct.

The state capture inquiry is led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and began its work last year. 

Witnesses testified on the Gupta family's unfettered influence on Zuma and his cabinet and how National Treasury and the markets were left shaken when the former president brazenly fired Pravin Gordhan and later Nhlanhla Nene as finance ministers. 

Recently, witnesses told the commission that top ANC officials and Zuma received kickbacks from Bosasa, which has filed for voluntary liquidation, raked in hundreds of millions of rand from state contracts.

The Gupta family - led by brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, packed up and left South Africa late 2017 as state capture allegations against them mounted. They were in a business partnership with Duduzane.

African News Agency (ANA)