- Zola Tsotsi has admitted that the R43million deal with Gupta owned The New Age had no commercial benefit
- He also claimed that he did not understand the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela when she told him to cancel the contract
- The deal was signed when Eskom was experiencing severe financial challenges
Zola Tsotsi, the former Eskom board chairperson, admitted to the Zondo commission that a R43million deal with Eskom and Gupta owned New Age (TNA) had no commercial benefit for the power generation utility.
Briefly.co.za learned that the deal was signed at a time when Eskom was undergoing severe financial challenges and the board hadn't even carried out a commercial value assessment.
The deal was exposed in 2014 and Tsotsi was instructed by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that the contract must be 'held in abeyance'.
Tsotsi took his time in cancelling the contract and even after Eskom disbanded the board in December 2014 the deal had not been cancelled, the new board also failed to follow the Public Protector's instructions according to timeslive.co.za.
When questioned by the Zondo commission on Thursday, he said the following.
“No, that advice [of going to court to set aside the contract] I did not get. I did not know there was such a thing,” said Tsotsi.
“It could have been useful [of me] to inform the board but in terms of the content of what she [Madonsela] is addressing in her letter [to me], I asked our lawyers ... I understood it to mean to halt the contract not cancel it.
“I was told that they [Eskom legal team] were not able to perform that function, to hold the contract in abeyance. The response I was looking for was that, can we then comply with the public protector? — the response was that we couldn’t.”
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