Former Eskom group executive Matshela Koko says Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is setting up the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for failure, by recommending that it investigates him for possible prosecution on corruption charges.
Koko insists that the commission’s work on the capture of Eskom by the Guptas and their acolytes was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Justice Zondo last week handed over to the Presidency the fourth instalment of the state capture commission’s report. The report was a scathing indictment of Koko’s tenure at the power utility.
Zondo found Koko was an integral part of the Gupta family’s capture of Eskom and recommended that Eskom’s former CEOs Koko and Brian Molefe, including the parastatal’s former chief financial officer, Anoj Singh, be criminally charged.
‘Nothing has come out of it’
In an interview with eNCA on Monday, Koko said the NPA would fail to hold him criminally liable for the unlawful R3.7 billion coal supply contract that Eskom awarded to the Guptas’ previously owned company, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, including the pre-payment of R659 million.
He claimed this was because, in 2020, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and Eskom said they had handed over evidence to the NPA over the awarding of the contract.
However, to date, Koko said the NPA was yet to prosecute him because it doesn’t have evidence of wrongdoing against him.
He said the NPA would also fail in linking him to Eskom’s unlawful payment of R1.6 billion to consultancy firms McKinsey-Regiments-Trillian.
“The three topics that he [Justice Zondo] suggests that I must be litigated and possibly charged with, the NPA has been seized with them for the last couple of years and nothing has come out of it.
“And I don’t see anything coming out of it going forward,” Koko said.
ALSO READ: Zondo: ANC ‘should be ashamed of themselves’
Koko said he was exploring his options on how to challenge Zondo’s findings, which included him possibly taking the report for legal review.
“There are two options. One option is to take the matter for review. The other option is to wait and let the NPA bring it on,” he said.
Tegeta’s history with Eskom
Eskom’s link to Gupta-owned Tegeta
In 2013, Eskom signed several coal-supply agreements with Tegeta as part of the power utility’s medium-term coal procurement mandate.
Apart from Eskom’s irregular advance payments to Tegeta, the agreements, in turn, enabled Tegeta to dictate highly favourable terms and extensions for its coal-supply contracts.
Tegeta also illegally acquired Optimum Coal Mine (OCM), and the pre-payment for coal supplies that followed was a sham.
“This is confirmed by the findings of a cash flow analysis which shows that the R659 million was paid towards the acquisition price of OCH by Tegeta, as was the R1.68 billion guarantee used to prove OCH bankers that Tegeta was good for the acquisition price”.
R659m deal not made in Eskom’s best interest
In 2019, Eskom’s Head of Finance in the Primary Energy, Snehal Nagar, said he received an email on 12 April 2016 to facilitate the R659 million payment to Tegeta.
Nagar said he could not recall the discussion with Ntetha and the prepayment to the Gupta-linked company.
He found it suspicious that he was instructed to pay a pro forma invoice – also dated 12 April 2016 – as it was not company practice.
Thus, Zondo’s report now states the context, timing and urgency of these deals “demonstrate the R659 million payment and the R1.68 billion guarantee were not made for the purpose of furthering the interests of Eskom”.
“These were made with the single purpose of ensuring the Guptas’ deal in terms of which they acquired the Glencore coal interests did not fall through for want of finance on the part of the Guptas”.