Eskom’s former head of legal and compliance Suzanne Daniels has told the State Capture Commission of Inquiry that the power utility’s board was once controlled by external forces.

Daniels, who blew the whistle on widespread corruption, took to the stand at the inquiry on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

In 2017, she testified at a parliamentary inquiry which looked into Eskom’s affairs, on the level of corruption that has rocked the power utility as well as the interference of the Gupta family.

When asked by the evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka whether she thought the Eskom’s board was being controlled by the outside people, Daniels responded “Yes Chair.”

Daniels told the presiding chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that at first, the extent of control that the controversial Gupta family had on her, was not yet clear to her – but that she would soon realise that it was the tip of the iceberg.

“In the beginning, I didn’t quite believe that three brothers could control the state in the manner that they did. That would become clearer as we go along, as I went along in my journey and that is why I started speaking to the media…there was such an element of mistrust at work,” she said.

‘Whistleblowing line not secure’

She said while she had opened up to colleagues about the situation, it was often difficult to know who to trust given the atmostphere.

“Even matters that were reported to the whistleblowing line, the executives would know what they were talking about so that line was not very secure,” she said.

Daniels told Zondo that she started talking anonymously to some of the journalists in the beginning. When asked by Seleka why she didn’t instead resign from Eskom, she said leaving was not an option as she was a single parent.

She told the commission how Salim Essa, a Gupta-linked business associate, asked about processes for suspending people at Eskom. Daniels said Essa then informed her that Tshediso Matona, Dan Marokane, Tsholofelo Molefe and Matshela Koko

“Mr Essa opened the door and we walked into a lounge. In this room was Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma, minister Ben Martins and an Asian lady whose name I cannot remember. I was in total shock over what I walked into,” said Daniels.


Presh JM Reporter

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