NEWS

Ngubane Says He Doesn't Know How His Passport Ended Up With A Gupta

The former Eskom chairperson's passport was sent to Tony Gupta in 2013.

14/06/2017 06:19 SAST | Updated 14/06/2017 08:48 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
The logo of state power utility Eskom is seen outside Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant in this picture taken March 20, 2016.

Another link between the Gupta family and former Eskom chairperson, Ben Ngubane has emerged. The Times reported on Wednesday that evidence contained in the Gupta emails shows that Ngubane sent his passport to Tony Gupta in October 2013, with invoices, to charter a flight to the Central African Republic (CAR).

Ngubane resigned as chairperson of Eskom on Monday night. He told The Times he had resigned for personal reasons, saying: "I have been in Parliament many times‚ where I have been humiliated‚ cursed and degraded and I survived. Why should I fear something like this inquiry?

"This [my resignation] is what people have wanted. They should be celebrating not questioning why I have resigned."

The flight was reportedly for members of a company owned by Ngubane, Gade Oil & Gas, which was investigating a potential R6 billion deal. According to The Times, Gupta associate, Salim Essa, was Ngubane's business partner in the venture.

But on Tuesday, Ngubane told The Times he did not know how his passport ended up in Tony Gupta's possession, although emails reportedly show it was sent to Gupta by his associate, Iqbal Sharma. Sharma confirmed this to The Times on Tuesday.

Ngubane reportedly told The Times he intended going to the CAR, but did not do so because of the civil war there. He said Gade never functioned or traded in the CAR for the same reason.

But his passport details were reportedly only forwarded to the Guptas after the fighting had ended in the CAR, The Times reported.

Ngubane was confronted with this fact by The Times. He reportedly said, "There is something funny going on. Unless someone used my passport fraudulently, I never flew there."

Ngubane also reportedly said he had no relationship with the Guptas.

"You meet people and they talk to you, but that does not mean you have a relationship. It's business and that's where it ends."