Former Independent Consultant at Eskom, Nicholas Linnell revealed that he was appointed by former South African Airways (SAA) Board Chairperson Dudu Myeni to head an inquiry into challenges facing Eskom which also included load shedding.
Linnell says on 8 March 2015, Myeni invited him to former President Jacob Zuma’s official residence in Durban to discuss the details of the investigation into Eskom’s affairs. He says Myeni was acting on Zuma’s instructions who wanted an inquiry to be conducted at Eskom.
Linnell was testifying at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.
He says he did not question Myeni’s involvement in the matter relating to Eskom as he understood Myeni to have been acting in her capacity as former President Jacobo Zuma’s confidant and political ally.
Linnell says he was never formally admitted as a lawyer in South Africa but worked as a lawyer in Zimbabwe.
The commission has heard that Linnell was often referred to as Myeni’s fixer.
“She explained in some depth that the president wanted an investigation into the affairs of Eskom and she had recommended to him that I could perform that function and the purpose of me being there was for him to presumably agree or otherwise to that suggestion.”
First session of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture:
Linnell says during the meeting at Zuma’s residence, it was agreed that three top Eskom executives should be suspended. He says the meeting was coordinated by Dudu Myeni and attended by her son Tellante Myeni, former Eskom Chairperson Zola Tsotsi and another gentleman who was only referred to as Jabu.
“Chairman, there was definitely an extended discussion about suspensions that would have started with the principle of suspensions and why that was a good approach. And it would have started with given that the suspensions were a good approach, which functions would be the appropriate people to suspend.”
Linnell says Zuma, who joined the second part of the meeting, had initiated for an inquiry to be conducted at Eskom and gave the go-ahead for the suspension of Eskom executives.
“The context of the meeting before that and even on the 6th, the context was the president wants an investigation. It wasn’t as if one was going say to him we’ve got a good idea, we are going to have this investigation. The context was the president wants an investigation into Eskom.”
The commission will continue to hear Linnell’s testimony when proceedings resume on Tuesday.
Former Eskom Group Executive Dan Marokane and Former Eskom Financial Director Tsholofelo Molefe are also expected to testify on Tuesday.
Second session of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture: