THE Guptas allegedly offered former head of Eskom’s legal department, Suzanne Daniels, R800 million to make sure Matshela Koko became head of the company.
Testifying at the Zondo Commission yesterday, Daniels said she turned down the offer.
She said Gupta associate Salim Essa met her at a filling station in 2017 and pleaded with her to help him as he had promised Koko he’d become CEO.
Daniels said on another occasion, Essa took her to an apartment in Melrose Arch, Joburg, where she found Ajay Gupta, former transport minister Ben Martins and former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.
She said Ajay wanted to know what was going on with former CEO Brian Molefe’s court case against Eskom, and she told him Molefe was going to lose.
“Ajay said, ‘we will have to find someone from the deputy judge president’s office to move the case’.
“What was more significant for me was when he said it will be easier to deal with this matter when Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma comes into power.
“It was at that moment that I realised that whatever scepticism I had about the Guptas and their influence on the country’s issues, this was it.
“I did not need anymore evidence,” said Daniels.
She said she was shocked but tried to stay as composed as possible as nobody knew where she was and she feared for her life.
Daniels said she was introduced to Essa by Koko in March 2015. She was dismissed from Eskom in July 2018.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Daniels why she continued to meet Essa after he had offered her a bribe to do something wrong.
Daniels said: “In my view, it was an act of desperation. Their bank accounts were frozen.”
“Did that make it right? Did that make you understand?” asked Zondo.
Daniels said she kept meeting Essa because she wanted to know what he’d do with her after she refused to help him.
Earlier, Daniels told the inquiry that in September 2016 she received a document from someone called Businessman using an email@example.com email address.
She said former Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane was copied using his private email address.
She said the document contained a draft letter instructing the board of directors to cancel commercial relations with the Mail and Guardian, City Press and Sunday Times.
She said Ngubane told her the email address belonged to public enterprises director general Richard Seleke and asked her to forward it to then public enterprises minister Lynne Brown.
Ngubane had told the commission that he understood from Daniels that the email address used by Businessman belonged to Seleke.
“That is not true,” said Daniels.
It was lIt was later revealed that the email address belonged to Essa.