South Africa: How Eskom Board Whisked Through a R1.68 Billion Agreement That Benefited the Guptas

Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Electricity pylons.
analysis

In December 2015, the Eskom board agreed to prepay Optimum Coal R1.68bn to ensure power stations could keep the lights on, but the deal was structured to benefit the Guptas' acquisition of the mining company and officials rubber-stamped their input. Former Eskom company secretary Suzanne Daniels said she would have acted differently, in retrospect.

Former Eskom head of legal and compliance Suzanne Daniels has told the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that in hindsight she would have asked more questions regarding a 2015 board decision to prepay Optimum Coal R1.68-billion, which included obvious influence from the Gupta family.

"At the time, I just didn't want to upset the applecart. Now, when you look back at it, I should have done so," she said on Monday.

Daniels returned to testify about Eskom's prepayments to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which facilitated the Guptas' acquisition of Optimum. Her testimony on Monday focused on the board's December 2015 decision, the precursor to payments the next year.

She said she took minutes at a meeting on 24 November 2015 between former Eskom group executive for generation Matshela Koko, Gupta associates from Oakbay, Nazeem Howa, Ashu Chawla and Ronica Ragavan, Optimum Coal business rescue...

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