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Daniels: Gupta associate Essa knew of Eskom suspensions before it happened

This was one of the explosive revelations that emerged in Parliament when Suzanne Daniels, Eskom’s suspended head of legal, lifted the lid on the Guptas' influence over the parastatal.

A screengrab of Eskom's Head of Legal and Compliance Suzanne Daniels.

CAPE TOWN - Gupta associate Salim Essa knew in March 2015 former Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona and three senior executives would be suspended before it happened.

This was one of the explosive revelations that emerged in Parliament on Wednesday when Suzanne Daniels, Eskom’s suspended head of legal, lifted the lid on the Guptas' influence over the parastatal.

Daniels testified that she did not expect to find herself in a room with Ajay Gupta and the others when she agreed to meet Essa for coffee in Melrose Arch in July this year, but that’s how her Saturday panned out.

“I couldn’t believe where I was and what I was hearing.”

Gupta told her that he would contact someone in the deputy Judge President’s office to make sure that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s pension pay-out case was not heard before December.

That wasn’t the first time she had met Essa, Daniels told MPs.

The first occasion was on 9 March 2015 when Eskom executive Matshela Koko asked her to meet him at Melrose Arch.

There they spoke with Essa, who somehow knew about who would be suspended at Eskom.

“He then proceeded in the presence of Matshela Koko to sketch out to me what was going to be happening.”

Days later, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona, Tsholofelo Molefe, Koko and Dan Marokane were suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Only Koko returned when the suspension was lifted, while the others opted to leave.

Matona and Molefe have both been called to testify in the parliamentary inquiry about their sudden suspensions.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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