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Eskom’s Pillay says former CEO Maritz used intimidating tactics against him

Pillay testified that in 2017 Maritz and then CFO Anoj Singh signed off on a R25 billion loan from the Chinese asset management company Huarong Energy Africa, a deal he said burdened Eskom instead of helping it.

A screengrab of Eskom treasurer Andre Pillay testifying at the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom’s treasurer Andre Pillay told the state capture commission that the power utility’s former acting CEO Sean Maritz used different tactics to intimidate him into supporting a multi-billion rand loan for Eskom that didn’t stand to benefit the power utility.

Pillay testified that in 2017 Maritz and then CFO Anoj Singh signed off on a R25 billion loan from the Chinese asset management company Huarong Energy Africa, a deal he said burdened Eskom instead of helping it.

In 2017, Eskom received the loan from the company to build or refurbish power stations, a deal which led to the power utility incurring a R400-million so-called signature fee.

Pillay said in the days leading up to the signing off on the Huarong-Sean Maritz intimidated him.

“…And he called me to his office and pulled out a piece of paper that was folded and I could not read what was on the paper but there were a few lines typed on the piece of paper and he indicated to me that there was a whistleblower and a report that indicate that I have taken a bribe from a particular Russian company for a facility that we have concluded.”

He said this was because he didn’t support the Huarong transaction: “It arose from the fact that I didn’t seemingly support or cooperate with the process or wanted to assist…”

Meanwhile, last week, Eskom’s board chairperson Jabu Mabuza told the inquiry that the power utility would not be paying back the R25 billion loan to Huarong.

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