Eskom’s former company Secretary and Legal Head Suzanne Daniels has also told the State Capture Commission that she was offered R800 million by Gupta associate, Salim Essa, to reinstate Matshela Koko as the power utility’s acting CEO.
She said she declined the offer.
Daniels has also described a meeting attended by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma, former Minister of Energy Ben Martins and Ajay Gupta. She says at the meeting Ajay wanted to know how former Eskom CEO Ben Molefe’s pension legal woes would be sorted out.
He also indicated to her they would find someone in the Deputy Judge President’s office to move the case out and that the matter would be easier to deal with once Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma comes into power.
Daniels says it was then that she realised that the Guptas thought that they were running the country.
“All sorts of thoughts went through my head. Was this a trap? I’ve already turned them down because here I am in a place nobody knows, because I had told my family I’m going to Melrose Arch. And if you read my testimony, you will see I’ve said Ajay Gupta was seated there with an old T- Shirt, a tracksuit and barefoot, and that made me even more angry and I’m thinking this man is sitting here and he thinks he owns the country,” says Daniels.
Daniels says she did not trust the power utility’s 2014 board and that tensions between her and the board escalated. She told the State Capture Commission that she was compelled by law to submit documents to the Public Protector without informing the board.
Daniels says a meeting was later called by board members with former Minister Lynne Brown to discuss the Public Protector and the freezing of some of the board members’ bank accounts.
Daniels testified that it was at this meeting that she got confirmation that the board was run by the Guptas.
“Board members were complaining that their bank accounts were being investigated and they were being declared politically exposed persons. I’m not quite sure how that meeting ended, but subsequent to that meeting, one of the board directors called me and said she was extremely angry because her account … was threatening to freeze her account and she said to me if these people think that I’m going down alone they have another thing coming. Everybody knows that this board is a Gupta board,” says Daniels.
Suzanne Daniels gives testimony at the State Capture Commission: