By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Eskom's former Chief Financial Officer, Anoj Singh was expected to testify at the State Capture Inquiry.
The commission has dedicated a week to testimony from former Eskom executives.
Singh’s legal representative at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Anneline van den Heever, has told the chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that her client is not yet in a position to give Eskom-related evidence at the inquiry.
Van den Heever told Zondo that she was appreciative that her client had not complied with the two directives from the commission instructing Singh to submit affidavits of evidence relating to Eskom.
Van den Heever, however, said an affidavit submitted to the commission on Wednesday morning – when Singh was expected to take the witness stand – would outline the issues that arose resulting in Singh not being ready to give evidence.
Zondo asked Van den Heever why this explanation was proffered at the last minute when Singh had ample time beforehand to do so, adding that this was an inconvenience to the commission which could have made other arrangements.
Evidence leader at the commission, Pule Seleka, said Singh was expected to give evidence relating to his secondment from Transnet to Eskom, and the events that unfolded during his tenure at the power utility.
These events include Eskom contracts awarded to McKinsey and Trillian, and transactions relating to Tegeta Exploration & Resources, Seleka said.
Zondo adjourned the proceedings to read through Singh’s affidavit outlining his reasons for not being ready to give evidence on Wednesday.
After the adjournment, Van den Heever told Zondo that they were requesting an opportunity to file a comprehensive affidavit with the commission, dealing with the matters outlined in the directives.
"[But] we will lose today and the commission simply doesn’t have time left, there is very little time left," Zondo said, adding that there were still many more witnesses expected to give evidence.
Zondo further said Singh should have submitted his affidavit "a long time ago" and that he, the chair, did not find the reasons outlined in the affidavit explaining why he could testify on Wednesday, and why he had failed to comply with the directives, as acceptable.
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Courtesy of ENCA