NATIONAL NEWS - Acting senior manager of fuel resources at Eskom, Ayanda Ntetha, on Tuesday told the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that she did not trust her colleagues at the power utility at the time, and was not comfortable enough to tell them about her 2015 meetings with Tony Gupta.
Ahead of the lunch adjournment, Ntetha told the chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, about a second meeting she had with Gupta around March 2015 at his Saxonwold residence.
Ntetha said Gupta had called her to arrange that they meet to discuss the coal supply agreement the latter’s company, Tegeta, had entered into with Eskom.
Ntetha told Zondo that she had agreed to meet Gupta because she saw an opportunity to ask him to instruct Tegeta’s chief executive officer Ravi Nath to cooperate with the power utility with regards to fixing the grammatical errors in the coal supply agreement and work towards moving it to the entity’s master coal supply template.
However, Ntetha said she did not tell her immediate bosses about the meeting because at the time, the environment at Eskom was not one of “great trust” and “comfort”.
Ntetha conceded that though it was common practice for senior managers and directors at Eskom to meet suppliers outside of the office, this was not best practice.
Ntetha said what sparked her lack of trust in her immediate supervisor at the time, Vusi Mboweni, was that he had requested weekly reports from her on the Tegeta transaction.
“I did not trust the people that I worked with at Eskom. I did not trust that I would get the support for the things I wanted to do at Eskom,” Ntetha said.
Ntetha said she did not know whether her superiors would back her efforts to fix the errors in the Tegeta agreement and move it to the master template, or if she would be told to leave it as is. Hence, she did not inform anyone about her meeting with Gupta.
At the meeting, Gupta was interested in understanding the differences between a medium-term coal supply agreement (which Tegeta had with Eskom) and the cost-plus contracts at the power utility, as well as the errors that needed to be fixed and the coal-sampling process.
Evidence leader for the commission, Pule Seleka, asked Ntetha whether the discussion with Gupta had not made her uncomfortable. She said it did and had raised concerns.
Ntetha said after the meetings she wondered whether Tegeta would want to change the agreement into a cost-plus contract.
The commission has adjourned for lunch.
Watch the proceedings live below, courtesy of the SABC.