Eskom board was misled in prepayment of R1.6bn to Optimum, Zondo hears

Former Eskom board member Venete Klein has told the state capture commission that she reasonably believed that the payment was for the Optimum Coal Mine under Glencore.

A screengrab of former Eskom board member Venete Klein appearing at the state capture inquiry in Johanneburg on 10 September 2020. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom board member Venete Klein maintains management misled the board when it wrote “proposed owners” in a resolution to prepay the Optimum Coal Mine R1.68 billion.

Klein has told the state capture commission on Wednesday that she reasonably believed that the payment was for the Optimum Coal Mine under Glencore.

But she concedes in hindsight she should have asked more questions.

READ: I didn’t know R1.6bn prepayment was going to Tegeta – Naidoo

The commission has heard a number of witnesses testify about irregular payments concerning the Optimum Coal Mine.

“Chairperson, all I can say to you, with the benefit of hindsight, I find that the wording was actually quite cunning, and management purposely put words there,” Klein said.

Another Eskom board member found wanting, she too was asked by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond why she didn’t object.

ALSO READ: Tegeta didn't deliver coal on time after R659m prepayment from Eskom – Nteta

She said: “The way I understood at the time is that there was business rescue and they are talking to a whole lot of people and maybe this is ok. I can’t argue with what you are saying but that was my position for supporting it, which I now know was wrong, I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Another former board member Pathmanathan Naidoo testified earlier that he should have noticed the term 'proposed owners'.

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