Zondo hears ‘shocking’ testimony on how taxpayers’ money was squandered

South Africa

Johannesburg – The state capture commission of inquiry has been hearing unbelievable stories from board chairpersons who were trusted custodians of billions of rand of taxpayers’ money.

Some took instructions blindly from the Presidency and its intermediaries or unknown emails, but they all made decisions that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo called “baffling”.

Dudu Myeni doubled as South African Airways (SAA) chairperson and told formed Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi what to do at the power utility.

“The president [Jacob Zuma] came in and sat down and did more listening than anything else and Dudu spoke most of the time,” Tsotsi told the commission.

“Ms Dudu Myeni knew before you came in that the idea was that there should be an inquiry and executives should be suspended [at Eskom],” Zondo said.

That meeting was Tsotsi’s downfall, making way for Ben Ngubane to take as Eskom acting chairperson. It is alleged that Ngubane took instructions from an email called “businessman” and he denied that it belonged to businessman Salim Essa.

“If businessman sends the boards of SOEs this proposal Dr Ngubane accompanied by a letter from the minister, that means businessman is working with the minister to tell the boards what to do and that was Eskom, Transnet, and Denel – all these boards are string along by businessman as the adviser to the minister,” said the commission’s evidence leader Advocate Pule Seleka.

Ngubane responded saying: “I think there is enough expertise in this country to determine the domain of any email address.”

 

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