NEWS
23/01/2018 11:24 SAST | Updated 23/01/2018 11:24 SAST

MPs Set To Draw And Quarter Anoj Singh On Tuesday

Singh resigned suddenly on Monday.

Eskom logo outside Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant. March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Eskom logo outside Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant. March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The parliamentary inquiry into state capture resumes on Tuesday afternoon, with Eskom's former chief financial officer Anoj Singh set to reappear before the same MPs who angrily sent him packing last December over the late submission of documents.

Singh, who was suspended by the power utility in September last year after being placed on special leave three months earlier, resigned on Monday evening, a day before his appearance at the inquiry.

The announcement was made by Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe, who said the resignation had been accepted and was with immediate effect.

The on-going probe into allegations of corruption and mismanagement at Eskom, the country's largest state-owned company, is being conducted by Parliament's public enterprises portfolio committee.

Singh incensed committee members in early December last year, when he submitted 400 pages of testimony late in the evening ahead of his appearance before the inquiry the next day

MPs accused him of undermining their efforts and using delaying tactics.

Committee chair Zukiswa Rantho told Singh to fly home, saying at the time: "We received your documents at 11pm yesterday. We [did not have opportunity to] read a single page of what you have sent to us... We are not going to deal with you today," she said at the time.

At Tuesday's sitting, which is set to start at 2pm, MPs will be keen to probe allegations that Singh was involved in the awarding of irregular contracts to Gupta-linked companies. They will also want to hear from him about numerous trips he made to Dubai, which – according to leaked e-mails – were funded by the Guptas.

The resumption of the inquiry comes after a dramatic weekend for Eskom, including the appointment of a new board under the acting chairmanship of businessman Jabu Mabuza.

Financial commentators believe it is imperative that the embattled utility immediately move to start restoring confidence among both local and international lenders and investors.

The inquiry is expected to sit for two days this week. After hearing Singh's testimony on Tuesday, it is set to hear the next day from Eskom's now head of generation, Matshela Koko.

Following a disciplinary hearing, Koko's suspension was lifted earlier this year. He was alleged to have failed to declare a conflict of interest when a firm at which his stepdaughter was a director was awarded an Eskom contract.

Fin24 reported earlier on Tuesday that Koko – who previously served as Eskom's acting CEO – believed he was being used to discredit both the power utility and the government.

The news site said that it had obtained a leaked copy of his submission to the inquiry, in which Koko claims he was "part of a frenzied campaign" to break Eskom.

"I have been caught in the crossfire and, arising from the simple magnitude of the campaign, have been unable to defend myself against it," he reportedly said.

Others set to testify before public enterprises portfolio committee over the next few weeks include deputy public enterprises minister Ben Martins, who will be subpoenaed after rejecting an invitation to appear.