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I met Gupta associate Essa through Koko, says Ex-Eskom company secretary Daniels

In an affidavit before the commission, Koko denied that the meeting ever took place, but Daniels has told deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that Koko was lying.

A screengrab of former head of legal and compliance at Eskom, Suzanne Daniels, appearing at the state capture inquiry on 15 September 2020. picture: SABC/YouTube

CAPE TOWN - Former Eskom company secretary Suzanne Daniels has told the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture how she met Gupta associate Salim Essa for the first time, at a meeting she attended with former Eskom group executive Matshela Koko.

In an affidavit before the commission, Koko denied that the meeting ever took place, but Daniels has told deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that he was lying.

Daniels said that at the meeting, in a boardroom near Melrose Arch in March 2015, Essa introduced himself as then Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown’s advisor, something she said surprised her.

Daniels said Essa asked her what needed to be done to suspend people, adding that “in the coming days” four executives were to be suspended, including Koko himself.

She said Matshela Koko appeared untroubled by what Salim Essa had told them; that Koko, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona, finance director Tsholofelo Molefe and group capital executive Dan Marokane would be suspending pending an inquiry into Eskom.

“At this point, I looked at Matshela Koko, because he is sitting in the room, and he is actually unphased by this revelation.”

Evidence leader Richard Seleka took Daniels through Koko’s affidavit denying that the meeting with Essa ever took place.

“With respect, mister chairman, Matshela Koko is lying,” Daniels said.

Earlier, Daniels was closely questioned about who was behind a controversial email account from which an instruction was received for the Eskom board to follow Transnet’s decision to suspend advertising spend or any commercial dealings with the Mail & Guardian, City Press and the Sunday Times as they had run articles alleging malfeasance at the parastatals as well as at Denel.
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Daniels said she was later told former DG of Public Enterprises Seleke was behind the email account but accepted that Essa used it. She said she thinks it was likely more than one person had access to the Gupta-linked account.

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