22/11/2017 11:47 SAST | Updated 22/11/2017 12:08 SAST

Tony Gupta To Eskom Board Chair: 'You're Not Helping Us'

Zola Tsotsi reveals extent of Guptas' power in Eskom appointments.

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA –– March 4, 2011: Businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta and Sahara director Duduzane Zuma speak to the City Press from the New Age newspaper's offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)

Zola Tsotsi, former chair of the Eskom board, told members of the public enterprises portfolio committee, which is conducting a probe into Eskom, of his bad relationship with Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown, and of an astonishing meeting with Tony Gupta.

"I had been trying to cultivate a working relationship with the minister... [but] it became patently clear to me I was not succeeding, when the minister called me to a meeting a day or two before the February 2015 State of the Nation address," Tsotsi told the committee.

Brown told him she had received complaints that he was "interfering in management".

She had told him: "Please refrain from doing so, because if you don't, I shall have to find someone else to do your job."

The same afternoon he had been approached by Tony Gupta, who had requested that they meet.

"At the meeting, Tony told me: 'Chairman, you are not helping us with anything. We are the ones who put you in the position you are in. We are the ones who can take you out!'"