Eskom’s Board Chair Mabuza Continues With His Testimony At Zondo Commission

Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza. Credit: EWN.

The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture resumes on Monday morning, with Eskom’s board chairperson Jabu Mabuza expected to continue testifying. On Friday, Mabuza told the judicial commission how the power utility was riddled with corruption when he took over in January last year.

Mabuza also said the board has not yet seen a Treasury report, which recommended remedial action to rid the power utility of impropriety.

When asked why not, Mabuza said: “I first learnt of the report in November 2018. It has not yet been tabled to the board.

“I would argue that there is a new board since this report was served on a previous board that was in office at the time. It is that board that would have received this report.”

The 2017 report was compiled as part of a probe into coal supplier contracts with the power utility with specific reference to Tegeta.

On power cuts, Mabuza admitted that the board should have predicted load shedding because of unstable operational plants issues Eskom faces.
The Economic Freedom Fighters meanwhile said it wants Mabuza to resign after he disclosed a “serious conflict of interest”

Mabuza told the commission on Friday that he had bought 6% of shares in Sphere Investment worth R26m.

He said that upon accepting the position of board chairperson in January 2018 he declared all his interests and resigned from future investment decisions at Sphere. The shares had also been put in a blind trust.

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said blind trust were still not enough to exempt Mabuza from wrong-doing.

“Mabuza told the commission that he is an executive chair of a company that maintains a third of Eskom’s boilers,” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement on Saturday.

Ndlozi was referring to Sphere’s shares in Babcock and Honeywell.

“The use of blind trusts by high profile executives in state-owned companies, including political office, is nothing but a web of dishonesty and deception used to hide the conflict of interest and dealings taking place to enrich the few, at the expense of South Africans,” Ndlozi claimed.

Mabuza added: “Leading up to my appointment as chairman of Eskom and currently as chairman I have never made or approved of any decision that was in my personal interests at the expense of Eskom’s or the public’s interest,” he reiterated.