Former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane appeared on Tuesday at the state capture commission for the second time to testify about the contentious events of 2015 that led to the suspension of executives and Tsotsi’s resignation.
A screengrab of former Cabinet minister and former Free State housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane appearing at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg on 13 October 2020. Picture: SABC/YouTube
JOHANNESBURG – Former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane on Tuesday said his predecessor Zola Tsotsi pleaded with the board not to announce that it did not have confidence in him because that would taint his image and prevent him from being appointed to other boards.
Ngubane appeared at the state capture commission for the second time to testify about the contentious events of 2015 that led to the suspension of executives and Tsotsi’s resignation.
Ngubane had previously testified that Gupta associate Salim Essa was his business partner before he was appointed to Eskom, but he vehemently denied that his appointment at the utility was the result of that relationship.
He also said it was disgusting that the board that he led was called a “Gupta board”.
Ngubane said the board advised Tsotsi to resign rather than be fired, and he did.
He also denied that he spoke to Essa about Tsotsi’s resignation, but the commission’s evidence leader, Advocate Pule Seleka, asked him about the role that Essa played during that time.
SHOCKED BY AN EMAIL WITH TSOTSI’S RESIGNATION
Ngubane was shocked to see an email that the state capture commission found containing a statement that he would later read to announce the resignation of his predecessor Tsotsi.
Ngubane has previously denied that the statement was similar to one sent by Gupta associate Nazeem Howa.
The commission said that it was remarkable that the email talked about Tsotsi’s resignation that would happen days after the statement was sent and detailed what happened during the board meeting that would also happen days after it was sent.
Ngubane said that he was surprised: “This email is dated 19 March, Mr Tsotsi had not been removed as chairperson.”
Zondo responded: “It’s one of the remarkable things. In other words, if it is true that the statement was attached to the email, the email is sent and the statement has been prepared before Mr Tsotsi is removed.”
WATCH: State capture commission proceedings