08/11/2017 11:20 SAST | Updated 08/11/2017 11:20 SAST

How Matjila Rammed Eskom's Dodgy New Age Deal Through

Former Eskom finance director spills beans on Matjila's claim of a 'mandate' to push through controversial business-breakfasts deal.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Pylons carry electricity from a sub-station of state power utility Eskom outside Cape Town in this picture taken 20 March 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Details of how Eskom interim CEO Collin Matjila bulldozed through the controversial New Age Business Breakfasts deal he struck with TNA Media emerged in Parliament on Wednesday.

Former Eskom finance director Tsholofelo Molefe told members of the public enterprises portfolio committee -- which is conducting an inquiry into state capture -- that Matjila believed he had a "mandate" to sign off on the deal.

Molefe, who served as Eskom finance director from January 2014 to June 2015, said she received an e-mailed copy of the R43-million contract, already signed by Matjila, as well as by TNA.

She had immediately contacted Matjila and told him he should have gone through a process of approval for the contract, but he had responded: "I am aware of what I have signed; I have a mandate."

Molefe said that when she suggested he present the matter to the board, "he told me he's not going to do anything like that".

Further, the contract contained no exit clause, which could have had negative legal implications for Eskom.

The Eskom board later initiated a forensic review, which found that Matjila had acted improperly in signing the contract.

Molefe is no relation to former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.