Zondo hears Eskom board was misled in prepayment of R1.6 billion to Optimum

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Former Eskom board member Venete Klein maintains management misled the board when it wrote “proposed owners” in a resolution to prepay the Optimum Coal Mine R1.68 billion.

Klein has told the state capture commission on Wednesday that she reasonably believed that the payment was for the Optimum Coal Mine under Glencore.

But she concedes in hindsight she should have asked more questions.

The commission has heard a number of witnesses testify about irregular payments concerning the Optimum Coal Mine.

“Chairperson, all I can say to you, with the benefit of hindsight, I find that the wording was actually quite cunning, and management purposely put words there,” Klein said.

Another Eskom board member found wanting, she too was asked by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond why she didn’t object.

She said: “The way I understood at the time is that there was business rescue and they are talking to a whole lot of people and maybe this is ok. I can’t argue with what you are saying but that was my position for supporting it, which I now know was wrong, I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Another former board member Pathmanathan Naidoo testified earlier that he should have noticed the term ‘proposed owners’.

-EWN

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