Appearing at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Friday, former Transnet chief financial officer Anoj Singh on Friday denied feeding confidential information about Eskom’s affairs to Gupta-linked Trillian Capital Partners.
Singh told the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he “at all times conducted himself in the best interests” of Eskom.
He dismissed allegations he had a relationship with Gupta associate and businessman Salim Essa, who was a shareholder in Trillian, that involved corrupt activities.
The former Transnet official, who is implicated in dodgy dealings with the Guptas in state capture, said he never gave confidential Eskom information to Essa.
“Firstly, Mr Chair, I deny ever meeting Mr Essa at his Melrose offices. There is no evidence that Mr Essa and I met at his Melrose offices while he was a shareholder. Secondly, Mr Chair, in terms of feeding confidential information about Eskom, I deny that I fed any confidential information,” he said.
This is after Henk Bester, former MD of rail at Hatch, told the commission that he once met Essa at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, where Singh was present at the meeting.
“As I said, I deny this meeting. That time Hatch was involved in the new multi-product pipeline project. And Mr Bester is from the rail division of Hatch. I do not understand how Mr Bester gets involved in pipeline invoices when he was from rail,” he said
Singh, who was seconded to Eskom in August 2015, argued he had only met Essa twice when he was at Transnet at the time to discuss a business venture.
The former Transnet official said he never met with Essa when he was working at Eskom.
He further denied ever having a meeting with Essa at his Carlton Centre office in July 2015.
The matter stems from former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama‘s evidence, who told the commission that he recalled Essa asking for his contact number while Singh was with Essa at the Transnet building.
Gama said Essa had expressed a wish to meet him, being the reason for asking for his contact number, which was given to Essa by Singh.
Gama further said he was invited by Essa to attend a meeting at the Gupta’s Saxonwold home about a month after that meeting.
READ MORE: How Siyabonga Gama met the Guptas
Meanwhile, Singh told the commission that he had never seen Essa at the Carlton Centre, adding that Gama was lying.
“Chair, I have no personal knowledge of that meeting. I have testified to the fact that this meeting in my office never happened. It is convenient for Mr Gama to say he has met with the Guptas and Mr Essa and conveniently implicate me in terms of the person who introduced him to Mr Essa,” said Singh.