Former senior manager tells state capture commission about power utility’s decision to make prepayment for coal
THE COMMISSION of Inquiry into State Capture on Tuesday heard how power utility Eskom took the decision to make a R659 million prepayment to Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources.
Dr Ayanda Nteta, the power utility’s acting senior fuel resources manager until April 2018, told the commission she was approached by then Tegeta Resources chief executive Ravindra Nath in around March 2016.
According to Nteta, Nath told her that Tegeta Resources had coal to offer Eskom, but indicated the company wanted the power utility to prepay for the coal.
She maintained that at the time she had indicated to Nath that it was not specifically in her ambit and she did not know how to go about it, but informed him she would have to get back to him.
Nteta further testified she sought the advice of her immediate supervisor, primary energy general manager Vusi Mboweni, but found Eskom chief procurement officer Edwin Mabelane and informed him that Tegeta Resources had put a precondition of prepayment for the coal it was offering the power utility.
Mabelane, it seems, then told Nteta to prepare a submission for the procurement of coal from Tegeta Resources to the board tender committee.
”I personally had not dealt with prepayment for coal,” Nteta testified.
She said she sent several drafts to Mabelane and engaged with then Eskom company secretary Suzanne Daniels with regards to that particular submission.
Nteta said she engaged with her superiors – Mboweni, Mabelane, Daniels and Eskom’s former acting chief executive Matshela Koko.
She said the submission was prepared over the weekend and the document was initially drafted by her and sent to Mboweni, Mabelane, Daniels and Koko.
They all called and provided input via e-mail, according to Nteta.
”I was co-ordinating input from several people,” she said.
The former senior manager highlighted that the prepayment to Tegeta Resources was initially R500 million.
Asked by evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka who initially came up with the R500m prepayment, Nteta said it may have been a guestimate but could not recall if Nath gave her the R500m figure.
”There was no scientific basis for the R500m figure,” she said.
Five other witnesses are scheduled to give evidence at the commission this week, including the power utility’s former board members Venete Klein, Dr Pat Naidoo, Viroshini Naidoo, Mark Pamensky and Daniels.
– Political Bureau