Avatar photo

By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Zondo confirms Zuma’s ‘character’ allowed Guptas to use him to capture Eskom

Zondo recommends legal action against the 2014 Eskom board, to recover losses as a result of their decisions they took.

The Gupta brothers used Jacob Zuma for their state capture plans, because they realised that his character would allow him to act “against the people of South Africa”.

This is one of the highly controversial findings in the fourth part of the highly anticipated report by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, which was released by the Presidency on Friday.

In part four of the report, which is itself comprised of four volumes, Zondo found that the controversial Gupta family, who since fled to Dubai- recognised that former President Jacob Zuma was instrumental in their capture of Eskom.

Zuma opened the door for the Gupta’s

“Central to the Guptas’ scheme of state capture was President Zuma who the Guptas must have identified at a very early stage as somebody whose character was such that they could use him against the people of South Africa,” says the report.

“President Zuma readily opened the doors for the Guptas to go into the SOEs and help themselves to the money and assets of the people of South Africa,” it further stated.

The findings show that the family’s knowledge of intimate government affairs proved that Zuma was facilitating Gupta-friendly appointments to top posts in the country’s SOEs and other departments.

“A conclusion can be drawn that there was a relationship and communication between the Gupta network and a number of Eskom board members.”

The commission found there was a scheme to remove competent executives who occupied strategic positions, because the Gupta family believed those members would not cooperate with the plan to capture Eskom and steal tax payers’ money.

Matshela Koko, Lynne Brown and Dudu Meyeni – sold out Eskom

The report confirmed that then Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was not only kept abreast of developments at Eskom, but she had announced the suspension of four board members – whose departures would ultimately make way for Gupta associates.

The report also named former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko as ‘an integral component of the Gupta family’s strategy to capture Eskom.’

“In the rest of 2015 and beyond Mr Koko continued to act in the interests of the Guptas and their associates in a number of instances rather than in the interests of Eskom,” said the report.

Former President Zuma and former chairperson of South African Airways SOC Limited, Dudi Myeni, were identified as “witting participants” to rid Eskom of relevant executives.

The Zondo report conceded that some Eskom board members may have just accepted the suspension of their fellow members because it came at the behest of Brown and Zuma.

Zondo found that with the exception of one board member, Norman Baloyi, the entire Eskom board had breached its fiduciary duties.

The report also recommended that “serious consideration be given to instituting legal proceedings against all members of the 2014 Eskom Board, except Baloyi, to recover all the financial losses as a result of decisions taken by the 2014 Board against the interests of Eskom.”

*This is a developing story

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits