Tsotsi testifies on how he was removed as Eskom board chair

Former Eskom Board Chairperson Zola Tsotsi says he found himself standing alone as he defended the mess at the power utility after the suspension of three senior executives.

Tsotsi was testifying at the State Capture Inquiry.

He says he had a teleconference meeting with more than 52 international investors who wanted to know what was happening at the power utility and wanted answers on why the financial director had been suspended.

He says they were also worried about the company’s capacity to protect its investments.

Tsotsi earlier testified that he had been instructed by former South African Airways Board Chair, Dudu Myeni, and former president Jacob Zuma in a meeting that an inquiry be instituted, and Eskom executives be suspended for the inquiry to do its work.

Tsotsi said he felt completely drained and was defending the undefendable.  He says he also felt complete betrayal by his fellow board members who had turned against him after they had supported the idea of an inquiry to expel some executives.

Tsotsi told the commission he was uncomfortable with the idea that the executives be suspended as they had done nothing wrong:

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Tsotsi removed as board chair 

Tsotsi detailed to the commission how he was unceremoniously removed from his position as board chair and replaced by Ben Ngubane while he was outside waiting, after being asked to recuse himself from that board meeting.

The former board chair says he left the power utility after being forced to resign. He says Ngubane gave him an ultimatum to either resign or face disciplinary hearings.

Tsotsi says he decided to resign because fighting the board would have destroyed the reputation of the organisation. He also says the minister refused to sign documents to allow him to collect money owed to him for the remainder of his fixed-term contract.

Tsotsi says he is still paying his legal fees.

Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)