Departure of Eskom executives was supported by Brown: Khoza

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Former Eskom Board member and acting-CEO, Zethembe Khoza has confirmed the suspension and the ultimate departure of four Eskom executives was supported by then Public Enterprises minister Lynne Brown.

Khoza was giving evidence at the Commission of Inquiry Into State Capture in Johannesburg on his involvement in the suspension and departure of the Eskom executives.

It is believed, the suspension of executives contributed to the downgrading of the power utility.

Khoza says in a meeting on March 11 2015, Brown wanted them to read between the lines on her position regarding the matter.

Khoza says the minister was concerned about operational issues, financial, procurement problems and load shedding at the power utility. She instructed the board to apply their minds and do a deep dive, hence investigate the issues.

Khoza says Brown and Former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi were in one mind about the matter.

“As the minister went and spoke in the same manner as the chairperson that gave us the confidence to say that the shareholder is aware. (LAWYER:) In other words, when the minister came there she was consistent with what Mr Tsotsi had said in the meeting of the 9th? (KHOZA:) That’s correct. (LAWYER:) And that resulted in the inquiry and the suspension of the executive’s? (KHOZA:) That’s correct.”

Khoza says Brown also raised concerns about the financials at the power utility and that also led to the suspension of the former Finance Director Tsholofelo Molefe. He says Brown suggested the executives should step aside so that the inquiry should take place with full credibility.

Justice Zondo queries

(KHOZA:) “It was said that the executives in an environment that will be investigated need to step aside. (ZONDO:) To step aside? (KHOZA:) Yes, to step aside. (ZONDO:) Did that come from the minister or some from the board members? (KHOZA:) It did from a certain point come from the minister. My understanding at the time it was presented it was supposed to be the CEO, Mr Matona, Mr Marokana and Mr Matshela.”

State Capture Inquiry | Commission hears Eskom related evidence. 

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