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State capture inquiry: Opperman admits Eskom, Tegeta deal was ‘fishy’

The payment was made even though the Gupta company had not provided any services to the power utility.

A screengrab of Eskom official Gert Opperman appearing at the Zondo Commission on 8 March 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom's Gert Opperman says when he knowingly approved an irregular pre-payment deal between Gupta-owned company Tegeta and the power utility, he genuinely thought Eskom would get value out of the arrangement.

Opperman testified at the state capture commission on Friday about the R659 million payment Eskom made to the company to help it purchase Optimum coal mine.

The payment was made even though the Gupta company had not provided any services to the power utility.
Treasury investigated the payment and found it to be unlawful.

Opperman says he knew from the beginning that something was fishy about the pre-payment to Tegeta, because he was expected to sign it without sufficient documentation.

“In my nine and a half years in this capacity it was the first time I had to do this.”

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo asked Opperman this question: “Were you concerned in any way that by signing you were allowing yourself to be party to something in particular?”

Opperman replied while he raised his concerns about the deal with his managers, he didn’t get satisfactory answers.
“When I read the agreement, I felt comfortable that we would get the value for what was paid.”

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