FORMER president Jacob Zuma came up with the idea to suspend Eskom executives in March 2015.
This was revealed at the Zondo Commission yesterday by Nicholas Linnell, an independent consultant for the power utility.
He said he received a call from former SAA chairwoman and current Jacob Zuma Foundation chairwoman Dudu Myeni on 6 March to an urgent meeting at Zuma’s official residence in Mahlamba Ndlopfu.
He said when he arrived, Myeni explained to him that Zuma wanted an investigation into Eskom affairs.
He said Zuma was not home and he was told he had left for Durban.
Linnell, who is also known as Myeni’s “Mr Fixer” as he has worked with her at SAA and Umhlathuze Water Board, said Myeni asked him if he could attend another meeting on 8 March.
He said she showed him a piece of paper with some details on the structure of the inquiry.
“I can’t remember the words, but there was absolutely no other idea that she had been asked to broach this by the president. So, if there was one person who told her to do this, it was the president,” said Linnell.
He said while travelling to KZN, he received an email with a delegation of authority attached to it from former Eskom board chairman, Zola Tsotsi.
Linnell said when he arrived at Zuma’s house in Durban, he found Myeni and her son, Thalente, Tsotsi and another gentleman, who was only introduced as Jabu.
“Myeni welcomed me. She was the facilitator of that meeting,” he said.
He said they discussed load-shedding and the suspension of executives.
Linnell said Jabu had a document with all the information about the state of Eskom at the time.
He said they moved to another room where Zuma joined in, and was presented with a proposal for an inquiry.
“He asked a limited number of questions and agreed that people in that meeting needed to take subsequent steps,” he said.
Linnell told the commission the former president was asked to seek an agreement with the ministers, while Tsotsi would seek approval with the board.He said he believed Zuma’s concern about Eskom was a legitimate one and was part of his job.
“To my mind he was taking an initiative. That is what he should be doing.”