Eskom gives no comment on former chair’s Gupta influence claims

Eskom said it would not respond to former chairperson Zola Tsotsi’s reported claim that he was forced to resign from the board because he would not do what the Gupta family said.

”Mr Tsotsi is no longer an Eskom Board member and therefore we can’t respond on his behalf,” came the curt reply.

Tsotsi reportedly said: ”When I was proposed for reappointment for the second term, one of the Guptas simply called me and told me they will support my appointment and that without their support it will not happen.

“Two months after the appointment, they called me and said they will have me fired because I am not playing the game. I was forced to resign shortly after that.”

He claimed that this was because the family said he was sending work to people who were hostile to President Jacob Zuma.

“They wanted to supply gas through Eskom units in the Western Cape … They [the Guptas] wanted exclusivity. But others [businesses] had already signed memoranda of understanding with Eskom. I said to them I can’t change that … That’s when they told me I don’t support them,” said Tsotsi.

News24 reported on his resignation last year, saying that he had agreed to leave after deliberations over a motion of no confidence in him by the board. Eskom said at the time that his decision to step down was in the interests of the company and the country and would allow the company to focus on its core issues.

On Wednesday Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed a report in the Financial Times of London that Atul Gupta offered him the job of finance minister around the time Nhlanhla Nene was removed from the post last December.

Zuma told Parliament on Thursday that only he has the power to appoint and remove ministers and deputy ministers.

The ANC’s NEC is meeting this weekend in Tshwane.


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Eskom gives no comment on former chair’s Gupta influence claims