Corporate governance in Eskom - Trillian

Public Enterprises

31 October 2017

Chairperson: Ms D Rantho (ANC)

Corporate governance in Eskom - Trillian

Budlender Report on Trillian Capital Partners (2016) Author: Advocate Geoff Budlender
Transcript of 31 October 2017

Meeting Summary

The Committee continued its inquiry into the mismanagement of funds in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Ms Mosilo Mothepu appeared as a witness. She worked at Regiments Capital from 2007 to 2010 in the Advisory Division, and then was reappointed as a Principal at Regiments Capital on 15 June 2015. She was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trillian Financial Advisory (TFA) effective from 1 March 2016.

Ms Mothepu informed the Committee of her knowledge and evidence that Eskom lied about its connection to Trillian, and said the advice Trillian gave Eskom was not worth the R600 million it paid. Many of the invoices submitted to SOEs were not based on contracts. She was questioned on many topics including:
• Procurement of McKinsey by Eskom and sub-contracting of Regiments/Trillian Capital Partners as a supply development partner.
• Trillian R93m fee for the Transnet club loan;
• R10m invoice to Transnet for work on the African expansion order book;
• R36m invoiced to Transnet for work on increasing Transnet Freight Rail sales volumes;
• Trillian invoiced South African Express for R5m for helping to arrange a R567m banking credit facility. However, the proposal advanced by Trillian was not supported by National Treasury; and
• Pre-knowledge of the firing of two former Finance Ministers.

Ms Mothepu stated that the contracts were brought in by Salim Essa and Kuben Moodley. Every single SOE they dealt with, either Denel, SA Express, Transnet, Eskom, Mr Essa had a relationship with either a board member there, or the executive, or the board chairman. What facilitated the process are the executives and boards of SOEs as they have to approve things and pressurise lower management to execute them. She was sure it started higher up, but she was not sure from where Mr Essa gets his information

Ms Mothepu raised concerns with the Group CEO, Mr Eric Wood, about the fact that TFA did not have signed contracts with Eskom, Transnet, Denel and South African Express, yet they continued to provide financial advisory services, and invoiced them for work which was sometimes not done. These concerns fell on deaf ears as she was told “Don’t worry. I will sort it out.”

Ms Mothepu resigned as CEO of TFA on 22 June 2016 and Executive Director on 27 June 2016. In her statement, Ms Mothepu said it should be noted that Trillian companies contributed to the purchase of Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH) by paying funds into the Bank of Baroda account of Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd. Ms Mothepu said she was providing evidence on the work that was not done by Trillian – and that for some of the work done by Trillian, there were no contracts in place with Eskom, Transnet, SA Express, and Denel.

Ms Mothepu said the work they did for Eskom was not worth R600m. “I don’t believe the advice we gave Eskom as consultants was worth R600m as I believe the capacity was there at Eskom. Eskom had knowledge of the business as compared to Trillian”.

The Committee commended Ms Mothepu for her courage in coming out and speaking the truth.
She was thanked for coming forward to provide evidence to the inquiry. The information raised serious allegations about the abuse of state resources, and the Committee would be interrogating people implicated in state capture.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that the inquiry was a fact finding mission and issues raised were of concern regarding Eskom. The witness appearing before the Committee would be ‘in camera’ – meaning that she did not want to be televised or her picture taken. The witness was aware that her name was already in the public domain and the people she would be speaking against knew who she was. Her right not to be photographed or televised needed to be respected, and everything she would be informing the Committee could not be used against her as she would be testifying under oath.

Mr S Swart (ACDP) said that no photos or social media posts were allowed.

The Chairperson read the oath to Ms Mosilo Mothepu, who was the former CEO of Trillian Financial Advisory, a subsidiary of Trillian Capital Partners.

Ms Mothepu took the oath.

Adv Ntuthuzelo Vanara led the evidence collection.

Witness: Ms Mosilo Mothepu
Adv Vanara: Is it correct that the name of the witness is public and that the media can mention the name?

Chairperson: The name of the witness is known publicly.

Adv Vanara: Ms Mothepu, can you for the record state your academic background and work experience.

Ms Mothepu: Good morning Honourable members. In terms of my academic qualifications, I have a BCom Accounting Degree from the University of Lesotho and an Honours in Corporate Finance and Investment from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). I am registered at Wits and doing my Masters of Commerce in Corporate Finance and Investment. I have approximately 15 years of experience in financial services, focusing mainly on public sector finance, financial advisory, and infrastructure finance. I have worked for various institutions including some of the big four banks and some of the big four advisory firms, and independent power producers (IPPs) in the energy sector. The focus has always been debt capital markets, essentially assisting public sector clients raise money for their infrastructure programme. It had always been my passion to assist the country in infrastructure development with my qualification.

Adv Vanara: Can you explain to the Committee the nature of your relationship with a company called Regiments Capital, and later on Trillian Financial Advisory. When it started, what was your role, and when you left the two companies?

Ms Mothepu: I was employed in 2007 at Regiments Capital. I was a debt capital market specialist. I worked with the three founding directors and shareholders; Eric Wood, Niven Pillay, and Litha Nyhonyha. I was in the advisory division. In my first three years at Regiments, we assisted ACSA in putting together a funding plan and capital raising for the airports in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and we assisted the City of Johannesburg with their medium term budget and in funding their shortfall. I left Regiments in December 2010. I wanted more experience as Regiments is an advisory firm with expertise and relationships in the public sector. I wanted experience in project finance and securitisation. In June 2015 I received a call from Mr Eric Wood and he asked me to return back to Regiments. I resumed employment at Regiments on 15 June 2015. I was employed as a Principal, which is just one level below a Director. I managed a team, gave them technical advice, and interacted with clients and business development. The understanding of my re-appointment at Regiments was to lead the Eskom team. Regiments together with McKinsey had submitted a proposal to Eskom. Regiments was supposed to be McKinsey’s supply development partner and Eric Wood indicated that he needed a senior resource which would be me, to manage that transaction. I left Regiments on 29 February 2016. It was not a resignation though. It was a section 197 in terms of the Labour Relations Act when Mr Wood and Salim Essa bought Regiments Advisory. I was transferred from Regiments Capital to Trillian Financial Advisory (TFA). I was promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TFA and Executive Director of TFA effective 01 March 2016. I resigned on 22 June 2016 as CEO of TFA, and I resigned as a Chief Director on 27 June 2016.

Adv Vanara: I am in possession of a statement that has 28 handwritten pages. I have given you the statement. It is a statement headed “Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee Inquiry into Eskom, Denel, Transnet, and SA Express Airlines. A statement by Ms Mosilo Mothepu”. It is dated October 2017. Are you aware of the document?

Ms Mothepu: I am aware.

Adv Vanara: Is it correct that the statement was prepared with the advice and assistance of your attorneys as of record?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: Have you signed the statement?

Ms Mothepu: I have signed.

Adv Vanara: And you have personally read through the statement before signing it, and do you confirm that the contents of your statement, to the best of your knowledge, is correct and true?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: Can that statement be admitted as evidence before this inquiry?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, that statement can be admitted as evidence.

Adv Vanara: On page three of your document you begin on paragraph 2.6 with the acquisition of Regiments Advisory by Eric Wood and Salim Essa to form TCP. Can you take the Committee through that transaction?

Ms Mothepu: During the last quarter of 2015, the shareholders and Executive Directors at Regiments decided they would be going their separate ways. The understanding was that Eric Wood and Mr Salim Essa who was at the time referred to as a ‘black shareholder’ would acquire Regiments Capital Advisory (RCA). Advisory had two legs; financial advisory and management consulting. I was in the financial advisory so essentially Eric Wood and Salim Essa bought Regiments Capital Advisory division and then formed a Pty Ltd. I was the CEO of TFA Pty Ltd. I had a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a team. There was a separate Pty Ltd called Trillian Management Consulting (TMC) which had its own CEO and COO. There was also Trillian Properties Pty Ltd, and Trillian Asset Management and Securities Pty Ltd. The parent company was Trillian Capital Partners (TCP) where Eric Wood was the Group CEO and all the CEOs from the Trillian subsidiaries reported to him. The transaction was supposed to happen in two phases. The first phase was the transfer of employees which happened on 1 March 2016. 60 Regiments people moved to Trillian through section 197 of the Labour Relations Act. The three partners were supposed to finalise the acquisition of the business, which were the assets and liabilities, and the public sector contracts that RCM had. These were Transnet, Denel, SA Express. The plan was to cede these contracts and have the cessions transferred to Trillian. This unfortunately did not happen. I believe the parties are in the High Court fighting for the lack of cessions. What happened from 1 March is that we moved from Illovo to Melrose Arch, and TFA continued working with Regiment’s old clients. And the partners had to discuss the finalisation of the transaction and contracts. I later found out in May from the Finance Director, Mr Tebogo Leballo that the negotiations had collapsed and this meant that Trillian had taken the public sector clients without the cessions being approved. This concerned me quite a bit.
Adv Vanara: The public sector clients you are referring to, they are on page three of your statement paragraph 2.6.3. Can you read them for the record?

Ms Mothepu: Denel, SA Express, Transnet, and Eskom SOC.

Adv Vanara: Can you explain to the Committee the procurement process of McKinsey by Eskom, and the subcontracting of Regiments/TCP as the supplier development partner?

Ms Mothepu: When I started in 15 June 2015. Regiments Capital and McKinsey were working together at Transnet. The initial contract was that Regiments was the supply development partner of McKinsey, and McKinsey was the main contractor at Transnet. They wanted this same agreement at Eskom. When I started, Mr Anoj Singh had been seconded to Eskom but was not appointed yet by the Minister. It was just a ‘secondment’. Before I joined, they had submitted a joint proposal where Regiments was supposed to be McKinsey’s supply development partner, and the main contract/Master Service Agreement (MSA) was supposed to be between McKinsey and Eskom. McKinsey as a main contractor was to earn 70% of the fee and Regiments 30%. Together they submitted a joint proposal in the first quarter of 2015 where McKinsey and Regiments were supposed to assist Eskom with management consulting services which included cost savings on procurement, generation, primary energy, and the establishment of Eskom’s top engineering programme. As McKinsey’s supply development partner, Regiments through Eric Wood agreed on a split fee of 70/30 favourable to McKinsey. As Regiments were financial advisory experts, the fees were 5% to Regiments, and 5% to McKinsey. The 5% was an administration fee. it was anticipated because the main contractor was McKinsey. Eskom would pay them directly, and then McKinsey would pay Regiments as a subcontractor. We met Mr Anoj Singh in various venues across Gauteng to discuss the proposal and to assist him in his first 100 days and to produce an action plan. We started working at Eskom when he was appointed by the Minister as a permanent CFO. We were given contractor access cards and designated a boardroom where the McKinsey and Regiments partners would work from. This was in anticipation that the proposal would get board approval and go through all the PFMA and supply chain regulations. We started working at Eskom before the board submission with anticipation of the approval. But then of course things changed when it was announced in December that Regiments was splitting and that Advisory would be bought by Mr Wood and Salim Essa. Mr Wood informed Mr Vikas Sagar of McKinsey, and Mr Anoj Singh of Eskom that the supply development partner would change from Regiments Capital to Trillian. This announcement was supported by both McKinsey and Eskom. Due to the change in supply development partner, McKinsey had to do another global risk review because it was no longer Regiments. They started the process in late December 2015 or early January 2016.

Adv Vanara: Just to take you a step back on what this MSA would have entailed. You are referring to the balance maximisation and cash unlocking initiatives. Which transactions would these initiatives have included?

Ms Mothepu: I am going to comment on the cash unlocking because that was my area. The management consulting part was done by TMC. The balance sheet optimisation and cash unlocking initiatives included insurance claims management for the Duvha unit three project; online vending; optimisation of fiber optics cable; other insurance claims management with regard to the Hitachi settlement; S Gap capital maximisation; and overall insurance claims management; we were also to assist Treasury in the arrangement and negotiation of long term loans and working capital. At the time, Eskom had gotten a R23 billion equity from National Treasury and part of the condition was to sell non-coal assets, and part of the non-coal assets was Eskom’s finance company which provided mortgage loans to Eskom employees. Trillian was to act as transaction advisors in the sale of that non-coal asset, and the issuance of Hybrid Capital which we partly started working on at Goldman Sachs. These transactions were all on a risk basis where if the transactions are successful and there is money in the bank, Trillian would get a success fee, and that is the 95% toward Regiments and then 5% to McKinsey. It was a separate proposal to the 70/30 one.

Adv Vanara: Eskom is an independent company and so is Regiments and McKinsey. Are you aware how Regiments becomes aware of these initiatives within Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: I am not aware. As I had said, I rejoined Regiments in June 2015 and they had already submitted the proposal. This was before my time. I suspect, as I indicated earlier that it was an unsolicited bid but these initiatives had changed substantially. Anoj Singh had added some and deleted some. The Duvha was not there; Mr Matshela Koko had also included the online vending. It was a situation where a client helps a service provider to be appointed. That grey line was not there. If I take you back, it was via confinement. It did not even go out on tender. It was on a sole basis and Eskom was supposed to get Treasury approval for the transaction. There was an original list which was amended by Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko because he felt that the Duvha claim and online vending had to be included. So it did not go on competitive tender.

Adv Vanara: My question is a very narrow. You have listed these initiatives. What I want to get at is that these are initiatives known by people at Eskom. Ordinarily somebody outside of Eskom would not know of these initiatives until informed. Is that correct?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: Are you aware of any other companies who are competitors of Regiments Capital who also submitted similar proposals to Eskom on the same initiatives?

Ms Mothepu: I am not aware.

Adv Vanara: You then proceed to 3.1.5 of your statement on page five where Regiments and McKinsey were negotiating a MSA with the then Acting CFO, and this is at the time you rejoined Regiments. Can you tell us what was envisaged by this MSA, who were to be the service providers, and what services were anticipated to be rendered to Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: My knowledge with regard to the MSA is quite limited because those negotiations were between McKinsey and Eskom. I am aware that it was for the management consulting services which included cost savings on procurement, generation, primary energy (coal contracts), and the establishment of Eskom’s top engineering programme. Unfortunately, I cannot give you the detail because we were only subcontractors, so I did not have sight of the main MSA.

Adv Vanara: You then get to be allocated a board room and access card at Eskom. The work begins. What then happens, can you take the Committee through the nature of transactions you guys were working on, can you advise how you got to work on these transactions, where there any contracts between your company and Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: As soon as Mr Anoj Singh was appointed in October 2015, we presented to Mr Prish Govender, he was a Programme Director. We took him through the initiatives so that the board would appoint McKinsey, and McKinsey would appoint Trillian. We started working on the Duvha Unit 3 insurance claim. We were instructed by Mr Anoj Singh in December to go and see Marsh – the insurance advisors for Eskom on the Duvha insurance claim. There were three or four options that Eskom had to select. They had to settle the claim and commit to rebuild the boiler. We acted as the financial advisors for Eskom. We had two meetings with Marsh. We met with Eskom’s Head, Ms Jacqui Kilani, and eventually Eskom chose an option. Then we assisted Mr Andre Pillay who was the Acting Treasurer at the time in Eskom to put a funding plan for Eskom which related to the sources of debt that Eskom would raise in the capital markets in way of bonds, development finance, institution loans, local bonds, international bonds, project finance, ECA, different kinds of instruments, and how they were going to deal with the credit rating downgrade, and how they can essentially be financially sustainable. We assisted his team over some months in finalising the funding plan for Eskom. I believe this work was carried out at Regiments. We were also asked to provide advice on the China Development Bank loan of R500 million.

Adv Vanara: Just before we move out of the Eskom funding plan, who represented Regiments Capital team in this transaction and who represented the Eskom team?

Ms Mothepu: From the Eskom side it was Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Andre Pillay. From Regiments side it was Eric Wood and myself, and the rest of my team as well.

Adv Vanara: Who are the officials you worked with from Eskom, and who are the officials you worked with from Regiments on the Duvha boiler 3 insurance claim?

Ms Mothepu: From Eskom it was Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Matshela Koko, and from Regiments it was Mr Eric Wood, myself and Ms Faheema Badat.

Adv Vanara: Can you then go the third transaction.

Ms Mothepu: The third transaction was the China Development Bank Loan of R500 million. The Bank had presented Eskom with an offer and we were asked to analyse the offer in terms of negotiating the turner, structure, interest rate, and negotiate some of the financial covenants. We negotiated a longer period interest rate and negotiated some of the financial covenants to be slightly less stringent. The team at Regiments was Mr Louis Schutte, Grant Joseph. The transaction was completed at Trillian by Themba ‘Hapasah’. And then there was the analysis of the R30 billion Goldman Sachs loan. Eskom’s side was represented by Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Andre Pillay, and some representatives from Goldman Sachs. From Regiments side it was Eric Wood, Faheema Badat and myself. This transaction was not finalised.

On the online vending, we started working in October with the technical team. They wanted to finalise the strategy to have the master vendor and then take the RFP out to tender. We were transaction advisors on this transaction. The Eskom representatives were Mr Prish Govender. From my team it was Eric Wood and myself, and some other junior members that assisted Eskom on this transaction.

Adv Vanara: In concluding the analysis of the Goldman Sachs R30 billion facility, you made a remark that the transaction was not finalised. What do you mean by the transaction was not finalised?

Ms Mothepu: Goldman Sachs decided not to go through with the transaction and Eskom did not receive their R30 billion. I had already left Trillian, but from what I read in the media it seems as if Goldman Sachs decided not to go through with the transaction. So Eskom did not get the R30 billion.

Adv Vanara: On the China Development loan facility, you are referring to annexure D and E. Can you explain to the Committee what these annexures are?

Ms Mothepu: If I can take you to page 66, these annexures are emails between Grant Joseph and myself. We had to do a market comparison of how the loan was priced and structured, given Eskom’s other loans, just to see how competitive it was. We gave advice to the client. We felt that it was too expensive and too short so we negotiated a lower interest rate in a longer time frame where Eskom’s debt was at the time. The annexures are proof of work done.

Adv Vanara: Similarly, on the Eskom funding plan you make reference to annexure C. Can you explain what annexure C is?

Ms Mothepu: Annexure C starts on page 30 and is correspondence between my team and Mr Andre Pillay who was Acting Treasurer at the time. We had a section to do. The Eskom team and Regiments divided work into who would be responsible for each section of the funding plan. I did not include the entire funding plan because I don’t want the bundle to be too bulky, but I can provide you with the attachment if the Committee wishes. We were basically assisting Andre Pillay’s team in that funding plan.

Adv Vanara: So basically this is evidence of work that the company rendered to Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: Can you go to the fourth transaction.

Ms Mothepu: EFC was a non-coal asset that needed to be sold off Eskom’s balance sheet. They wanted to sell it to financial institutions so that they could get some cash. We dealt with the CEO of EFC, Mr Mike Bashee, and his CFO. They gave us information on evaluation and board approval. We assisted them with regards to doing an evaluation, model financial forecasts, putting together a due diligence room where prospective bidders could come and get information so that they can understand the asset and make an offer. We were the financial advisors in assisting Eskom sell this asset. The responsible person there was Mr Matshela Koko.

Adv Vanara: Annexures H, I and J, in brief what do they entail?

Ms Mothepu: Regiments had met with representatives from Goldman Sachs who were also going to assist Eskom in the disposal of EFC. These are just summaries of that meeting. That is just to show that we worked on that transaction.

The Chairperson: Our files go up to 101. We do not have page 106 and so forth. I hope we get the attachments you are making reference to.

Adv Vanara: I can confirm that we received all the annexures.

Adv Vanara: Without going through all the annexures, as the author of the document you can you give us a sense of what the annexures are about. You say that they are minutes of meetings that took place between your company and representatives of the company that you have mentioned. Is that also evidence of work you did for Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: Yes it is evidence and also to provide the Committee with documentation supporting my statement.

Adv Vanara: The insurance claim management in relation to the Hitachi settlement, what work if any did your company do in this regard?

Ms Mothepu: It was on the same basis as the Duvha claim. We were transaction advisors. I was quite far removed from this process. Annexure L and M, once the Committee gets their bundle, is also supporting documentation on the advice we gave to Eskom on the Hitachi claim.

Adv Vanara: You are a service provider, and you have clearly done work for Eskom. The next thing one expects is payment for services rendered. Did your company receive any monies for the services rendered?

Ms Mothepu: Before we go to payment can I take you through the process? During the process of working, McKinsey, Eskom, and Trillian had put together a Steerco Committee that met on a monthly basis to update the Committee on these initiatives and McKinsey’s too. The first meeting was on 9 February 2016, and the last one was on 31 March 2016. During this time while we were working before the payment, McKinsey in March told Eskom, Mr Anoj Singh, that Trillian had failed its global risk review. If you recall, Trillian had to undergo this process because it was a new supply development partner.

On 31 March during the Steerco, I was present, Ms Bianca Smith was present, McKinsey’s representatives were present, Mr Anoj Singh, Mr Matshela Koko, Mr Edwin Mabelane were present when McKinsey made the announcement that Trillian had not passed the global risk review. The only payment that I was aware of was the corporate plan which was a Trillian Management Consulting invoice of about R30 million which was made on 14 April 2016. I received a call from Mr Edwin Mabelane telling me that they need Trillian’s BEE certificate because they wanted to process payment. I was not aware that an invoice had been issued and I was quite surprised because there was no contract between Eskom and Trillian and Trillian and McKinsey. So he dealt with Mr Tebogo Leballo on that issue. From a payment perspective, that was the only payment that was done during my tenure from 1 March 2016 to 22 June 2016.

The other payments I became aware of when Senior Counsel Budlender invited me to be part of his inquiry and he showed me the report which outlined the payments made to these transactions. This was after my leaving and I think they were paid in August. Essentially Trillian was paid just under R600 million from these transactions and the other management consulting without the contract. One thing I would like to say with regard to this work, I am not sure if the transactions were completed because the proposal was that it was supposed to be on a success fee. I am not sure if EFC was sold, I am not sure if the master vendor was appointed, I am not sure if the milestones were reached. I also raised this concern that Eskom management, whether the treasury or technical team, had the capacity to complete these transactions without advisors. I don’t believe that the R600 million is worth the advice we gave Eskom. I believe that the capacity is there and was there. There was a lot of resistance from the team with regard to the consultants helping them. That was also a concern of mine.

Adv Vanara: In your view, the internal resource were resistant to your supposed expertise. What do you attribute that resistance to?

Ms Mothepu: When you have internal people who are qualified, who have the capacity to complete a task, you only need consultants if there is no capacity. They had capacity so of course I think from their point of view they did not understand the need for a consultant because in most cases they knew the subject matter much more than we did because they were part of the business. Support came from management, but the actual technical teams were very resistant understandably to consultants coming in to do their work essentially.

Adv Vanara: The Steering Committee meeting of 31 March 2016 between representatives of Eskom, Trillian and McKinsey, there was one individual missing from that meeting and that is Mr Eric Wood. Are you aware of the reason why Mr Wood could not join the meeting?

Ms Mothepu: I am. We had the meeting where all representatives from Eskom, McKinsey, and Trillian were present. From Trillian it was Ms Bianca Smith and myself. That is when McKinsey made the announcement that Trillian had failed its global risk review. The meeting actually stopped and did not continue. We as consultants were asked not be present so we left. I called Eric and told him that is what has happened and he said “No. He had a conversation with Mr Anoj Singh the previous evening, and Mr Anoj Singh had communicated to Mr Wood that McKinsey’s global risk review committee had declined Trillian”. So the envisioned partnership was not going to happen – meaning that Trillian will not have a relationship with McKinsey nor Eskom so he did not feel the need to be present at that meeting.

Adv Vanara: It would appear that you raised concern and continued to work at Eskom when there was no contract. Who did you raise this concern with and how was it addressed?

Ms Mothepu: After speaking to Eric, I went back to the office in Melrose Arch and raised that concern with him and told him that out team had started working at Eskom with the anticipation that a contract would be signed but now that has not happened so we have to stop working there because it is in contravention of the PFMA and other legislation. He said that I should not worry about it as he will speak to Mr Anoj Singh. We had submitted an RFP sometime in February. Eskom wanted a panel of financial advisors and Trillian had submitted its proposal so maybe he can appoint us through that process. I said no, but it is a competitive process, but unfortunately my concerns fell on deaf ears. He said I should not worry, Anoj will sort it out.

Adv Vanara: The McKinsey supposed relationship falls off because they do not deem your company a suitable development partner. You then start negotiations with another company called Oliver Wyman Consulting firm. Can you take the Committee through those negotiations?

Ms Mothepu: In May 2016, Trillain started negotiating with Oliver Wyman. I believe there was a meeting between Eric Wood, Salim Essa, and Martin De Wet of Oliver Wyman, and they wanted to have a collaboration agreement where they will work at Eskom and Transnet. In annexure A, it says that Mr Salim Essa will speak to Mr Anoj Singh with regard to the change management and Eskom’s requirements, and also exploring interests of the shale gas strategy. Maybe the plan was to replace McKinsey with Oliver Wyman. I resigned the following week so I am not in a position to find out if that collaboration was implemented.

Adv Vanara: The responses by the Minister of Public Enterprises on the questions posed by Honourable Mazzone on the relationship between Eskom and Trillian. You canvas that on page 12 to 14. Can you sum up the Minister’s response and the accuracy thereof?

Ms Mothepu: I went to the former Public Protector, Ms Thuli Madonsela, and I gave her my statement on allegations that Trillian was at Eskom and worked without a contract. I also made another disclosure about Denel, SA Express, and Transnet. What had happened was that my statement was leaked to a Sunday publication on 23 October 2016 and a few days later Eskom denied on their website that they had any contracts with Trillian, and it had never worked on the Duvha claim, China Development Bank loan, and Goldman Sachs. I believe the first denial by Eskom was as a result of that Sunday Times exposé and I believe on this question of Trillian having any contracts with Eskom and how much was paid, the Minister was unfortunately misled. Although it is true that Trillian did not have a contract with Eskom, Eskom said Trillian had not been paid a cent. It had been paid R600 million and Eskom even went further to deny the work that we had done. It was not just a question of money and contracts, but also the denial of work done. So this response by the Minister is unfortunately misleading.

Adv Vanara: Eskom around October 2016 issued a statement on the relationship between Trillian. You have had sight of that media statement from Eskom. Can you comment on the accuracy of that statement?

Ms Mothepu: They do say Eskom does not have contract with Trillian which is true, but the second part is not correct because they say that we did not work on the transactions which is not true, and they denied paying Trillian which is not true. They confirm no contract, but the latter is misleading unfortunately.

Adv Vanara: No further questions, Chair.

Chairperson: I will now give over to Members to ask questions.

Mr P Gordhan (ANC): Could we have a short break for Members to consult with you on how we proceed with this matter?

Chairperson: Okay. Not a problem. No media are allowed to speak to Ms Mothepu or move closer to her!

The Committee went on a short five minute break

The Chairperson: Thank you honourable members. We are going to continue with questions from the evidence leader.

Adv Vanara: Ms Mothepu, your company did not only do business with Eskom. From what I gather from your statement is that the same players were at Transnet before migrating to Eskom. Is that a fair observation?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, that is a fair observation.

Adv Vanara: The same modus operandi in terms of the business proposals that you have gone through with the Committee at Eskom were done at Transnet, albeit in a different context. Is that a fair observation?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, your observation is fair, but as you have said, the transactions were slightly different because Transnet and Eskom have different requirements but the modus operandi was the same.

Adv Vanara: Can you share with the Committee the transactions at Transnet?

Ms Mothepu: When I joined in June 2015, Regiments was Transnet’s financial advisor on the financing of the 1 064 locomotives. Before I joined, Transnet had signed a $2.5 billion loan with the China Development Bank. Regiments was the financial advisor, led by Mr Eric Wood and his debt capital market team. When I arrived in June 2015, they had made a decision because the cross currency swops made the loan expensive. They wanted to raise local currency loans to blend the interest rate. The team had already started meeting with several banks in South Africa to raise R20 billion. Transnet did not want to borrow down completely on the $2.5 billion loan. They wanted to at least blend it with the club loan. So my team and I at Regiments met with several investors, banks, asset managers in Johannesburg, flew down to Cape Town as the pension funds are also here. I eventually led that transaction. The club loan was successful.

We raised R12 billion through Absa/Barclays future growth, Old Mutual specialized finance and future growth. I liaised with Mr Garry Pita, Mr ‘Petuloa Mosihudi’, and the Treasury team in the finalisation of that loan, negotiating with the banks. I spent a good six months on that transaction to the point where I had to write for Mr Garry Pita when there was a media session and give him information so that he would be able to answer the media questions. What is outstanding and quite shocking is that Regiments was told that they would not be paid an additional fee for this loan because they had already been paid a fee for the $2.5 billion. They wrote a letter to Transnet, and Transnet declined the additional fee. So you can imagine my amazement when I read an amaBhungane article that Trillian Asset Management were paid R93 million for the transaction role for the club loan. I had already resigned at this point, and the response was that McKinsey had a contract with Transnet, and Regiments was McKinsey’s supply development partner and Trillian Asset Management was Regiments supply development partner. There is no truth in that. Trillian had no role in December 2015. There was no contractual agreement between Trillian and Transnet for them to justifiably invoice R93 million.

I believe Parliament was also misled on that question. After that article there was a parliamentary question about Trillian’s role in the origination of that loan, and what I just said was repeated. I don’t understand how that communication can be so blurring. I worked on that transaction at Regiments. I did not even know the word “Trillian” in November 2015. So essentially Trillian Asset Management invoiced Transnet R93 million for absolutely no reason. Even my bonus was great because I worked on that transaction, and I was told by Eric that my bonus was not great because I worked on a transaction that did not generate a fee. So now imagine when I realised it in August 2016 that the fees were actually paid to Trillian. Regiments has gone on record saying that they did the work. Trillian did not do the work. Trillian simply invoiced and I don’t understand how that can happen. This is another instance where the Minister unknowingly misled Parliament on a Trillian transaction.

Adv Vanara: The Minister would get an opportunity to have a say on how she got to respond in the manner in which she did. I would like to focus on the relationship between TCP and Stan Shane. Who is Stan Shane, and what was the relationship between TCP and him?

Ms Mothepu: There is a company called Integrated Capital. They are a financial advisory corporate finance boutique. They are in Melrose Arch, and Stan Shane is the CEO and Executive Director. He has other partners in the form of Mr Mark Chipkin and Clive Angel. I later found out on 31 March 2016 that Integrated Capital established Trillian. They formed all the communication, opened bank accounts. Mark Chipkin was the Director of TFA, and Clive Angel was the Director of TCP until 1 March when we moved across and became partners. They were very operational in the running of Trillian. They controlled the bank accounts, made strategic decisions, they made operational decisions – to our dismay because we thought we are Exco. Why is it that Mr Salim Essa, Eric Wood, and the three Integrated Capital partners make all the strategic and operational decisions at Trillian while we are the directors and will bear the director risk? This was a bone of contention for us. I later found out that Mr Shane chairs the Transnet Acquisition and Disposal Committee. I do not know if he declared his conflict because if you establish a company that does business with Transnet, where he is a board member, then I am not sure if he disclosed that he established that company and the fact that he gets R700 000 a month.

I was told by Eric Wood on 31 March 2016 that for their reward in setting up Trillian they would also get a shareholding. I am not in a position to confirm whether that actually happened. I also alerted this potential conflict to the former Public Protector in my statement.

Adv Vanara: Can you take us through the transaction of the ‘Transnet Engineering African Expansion’?

Ms Mothepu: As Transnet had embarked on a very ambitious 1 064 locomotives programme, they were faced with the problem of having old diesel locomotives that were being replaced by new ones, but they identified that there is a potential revenue generating opportunity where they can refurbish these old locomotives and on-sale them into the African continent. While we were still at Regiments, Eric Wood proposed a SPV structure and he asked me to go and see the Transnet engineering team to propose this SPV structure and how it will financially benefit Transnet. And then he asked me to ask Tebogo Leballo, the Finance Director, to generate a R10 million invoice. I said; “No. We cannot do that. We have not been appointed, and we have not done any work”. So I gave Mr Clive Angel a copy of the proposal and he sent it to Mr Thami Giyani on 17 February 2016, and on 22 February 2016 he sent the R10 million invoice. I would like to place it on record that in February TFA had no employees. Mr Mark Chipkin was the sole director. No work had been done for that invoice. I think that invoice was paid in June 2016. I left in June, and we had not done any further work. Eric Wood and his answering affidavit in his court case with Regiments says that “the invoice was sent prematurely and was only paid in June because the work was not up to scratch.” No work was done, and Transnet simply paid R10 million for a proposal.

Adv Vanara: The Transnet property database. Can you take us through that transaction?

Ms Mothepu: While we were at Regiments, there was a separate committee called ‘project factory’. Essentially it was to analyse Transnet’s balance sheet and see if there are assets that are undervalued or can be structured differently so that Transnet’s balance sheet can be enhanced. One of the initiatives was the property. Transnet has a substantial property portfolio and they felt that it was undervalued. Eric and his partners at Regiments had proposed a SPV structure where you would transfer these properties into an SPV and that SPV would use those assets to fundraise and refurbish these properties. While we were at Regiments, we were introduced to Mr Mark Pamensky. He was supposed to be the CEO of Trillian Properties. He worked alongside Mikhail Shapiro. Later, Mr Pamensky decided that he did not want to be the CEO of Trillian Properties, and he established “Fuel Property”. I am not sure if he was a CEO of Fuel Property or if he was just a consultant. Essentially, Transnet Property gave Trillian, through Fuel Property access to their portfolio. They went to the ports, to various provinces, and worked and analysed the valuation of the property and also got accounting opinions, PFMA legal opinions to see if the SPV could comply with the PFMA. A proposal sent in April 2016 and an invoice of around R40 million. I think that invoice was paid. Another instance where there is a proposal and Trillian gets paid. From what I have seen in the media, I believe Transnet issued an RFP to invite service providers to assist them in a process. I am not sure if they have been appointed and how far they are in the approval process.

Adv Vanara: Mr Mark Vivian Pamensky. Is he the person you are referring to in your statement?

Ms Mothepu: Yes he is the person I am referring to.

Adv Vanara: Are you are that he was a non-Executive Director on the Eskom board?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, I am aware.

Adv Vanara: Can you take the Committee through the relationship of your company with SA Express?

Ms Mothepu: The relationship started at Regiments. SA Express through the CEO, Mr Inati Ntshanga, and the CFO, Mr Mark Shelley, had appointed Regiments to assist them in a Section 54. They wanted to buy/lease new fleet (airlines). Regiments was the financial advisor in terms of the modelling and affordability. When I started there, there was a funding shortfall. They need R567 million. They issued an RFP to the banks and it was subsequently cancelled because they wanted an additional requirement which they could not include without canceling that tender and re-issuing that tender. There was lack of interest from the banks so Eric Wood proposed a bond issue. SA Express had never issued a bond issue so through Regiments Assets Management (RAM) they had identified them as the potential investors. It was going to be a private placement. Unrated, but listed. While at Trillian, my team and I, along with Mr Inati Ntshanga and Mr Mark Shelley went to see the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) to get the necessary approvals and from Treasury. There was concern about the pricing and structure, and they did not understand why SA Express could not just get a normal bank loan. Eventually it needed a government guarantee but Treasury was not happy with the pricing and they denied the guarantee. The bond issue never took place and Trillian was paid a brokerage fee of R5.7 million. In terms of market price, when you are lead on a bond issue, you get paid on the successful placement of that bond. If there is no money, you get nothing. I got that update from Eric. He told me that Mr Salim Essa had a meeting with Mr Inati Ntshanga and he said he will pay us anyway. So we went to see Mr Ntshanga who confirmed this. After the meeting I said “It does not make sense that we get a brokerage fee when there is no money in the bank.” He just said “No, we will get paid anyway”. It was approved by Mr Ntshanga. There are media reports about the R5.7 million. But they say it is for balance sheet optimisation, but that is not the correct description of services rendered. The R5.7 million was for a bond issue that never took place, and of course SA Express did not have a contract with Trillian. I made the submission to the Public Protector as well.

Adv Vanara: The prior knowledge of the firing of the former Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene. You seem to have had prior knowledge before this happened. How did you become aware of this?

Ms Mothepu: This is a date I think I will never forget, 26 October 2015. We were still at Regiments. I normally had informal meetings with Eric in the morning, and he called me into his office and he told me that the Minister Nhlanhla Nene would be fired. For me, I did not understand the significance of what he was telling me. There had been many reshuffles of ministers before. I did not understand why he was telling me because we never dealt with Treasury or the Minister of Finance so I did not ask him, “How do you know, why are you telling me, so on”. Later on that morning he emailed me a Word document that outlined the initiatives that the new Minister was going to approval, about 12 of them, and the potential fees that Regiments was going to earn.

Six weeks later the nation is shocked of course when indeed the former Minister is fired, so in the morning I tell him, “You were right”, and he tells me, “Yes I was. A certain colleague of mine, Mohamed Bobat was appointed the advisor to the new Minister and his role was to channel all the work whether from SOEs or Treasury to Regiments/Trillian, so Mr Bobat was given the courtesy of a driver going to Pretoria every morning. Eric had appointed a PR company to write the new Minister’s speeches. They started working on the Finance Minister’s speech, but unfortunately on the Sunday he was replaced so he never got a chance to deliver it so they had to write a COGTA speech. I remember quite clearly that Friday was our Christmas party and Eric Wood and Mohamed Bobat were not present. On the Monday I asked them why as it was the last time Regiments would have a Christmas party because the next year they were going their separate ways. Eric told me he spent the whole day with the Minister and Mohamed assisting him in his new role. I am told that Mohamed complained that he was getting a 30% salary reduction so it was envisioned that his wife would be a phantom employee at Trillian and would be paid the balance. I do not know if this ever happened. Mohamed during my time at Trillian spent a lot of time in Eric’s office and Salim Essa’s office.

On 16 March, I was in my office. I used to share an office with the Finance Director Tebogo Leballo, and Bianca was there as well, and then he told me that Minister Pravin Gordhan was going to be removed. I could not hear him because he was whispering because we had an open plan office, and then he wrote it down on my book which I still have, and is part of the annexures. He wrote “changing Finance Minister” and of course this time I was shocked because the first time I did not understand the significance, but now I realised that that plan was still happening.

Adv Vanara: You made reference to a date of your encounter with Mr Eric Wood in his office, having this informal meeting. Can you repeat that date when the meeting took place?

Ms Mothepu: 26 October 2015.

Adv Vanara: In respect of the firing of former Finance Minister Mr Pravin Gordhan, on page 26 you then say “I was shocked as I thought this plan was long abandoned”. What do you mean by the statement?

Ms Mothepu: The first Minister only lasted one weekend because the financial market negatively responded and he was replaced by Mr Pravin Gordhan. So I just naively thought the plan was abandoned.

Adv Vanara: Eric Wood and Salim Essa are not public representatives. Is this correct?

Ms Mothepu: You are correct.

Adv Vanara: The appointment and removal of state ministers is the responsibility of the President. Is that correct?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: On your own version that Eric Wood knew of the removal of former Ministers of Finance, Nene and Gordhan, in your own understanding of the company you worked in, the people that you worked with, how would Eric Wood have known of such impending decisions which later on proved to be accurate?

Ms Mothepu: Unfortunately, I cannot speculate how he knew. If you recall my earlier response, I did not even ask him how he knew. The second time I was told by the CFO, Tebogo Leballo. Unfortunately, I am not sure if Salim told him or a Cabinet member told him. Even on the ‘Nenegate’ I am told by unconfirmed sources that Eric Wood being a trader, traded on this information. In November he bought dollars because he knew that the removal of a Finance Minister was going to affect the rand. The day that the announcement was made while our investments and the rand was crashing he reversed the trade and apparently made R100s of millions. I cannot confirm this, but this is what I am told.

The Chairperson: Can you repeat what you have said, Ma’am?

Ms Mothepu: Certainly. On the ‘Nenegate’ I am told, but it is unconfirmed because the whistleblower is also scared, that Eric Wood and his people traded on pre-knowledge of ‘Nenegate’. As he is a trader, he knew that that announcement was going to affect the rand so he bought dollars in November and when our investments and the rand was crashing he reversed the trade and made R100s of millions.

Adv Vanara: Mohamed Bobat went with the former Minister of Finance to Treasury and lasted the period which is well known, and then the Minister was moved to COGTA. Where is Mohamed Bobat at the moment?

Ms Mothepu: He is still working at COGTA, and he is still the advisor to the COGTA Minister.

Adv Vanara: On Friday we will get a witness, and that witness has sent me a statement and in the statement she alleges that Mr Bobat has been meeting with her in line with your earlier testimony of a programme or particular transactions that must be channeled to your company and that she worked with Mr Bobat assisting Trillian to prepare proposals furnishing inside information from COGTA to your company. I know you will not be here by the time she testifies, and I don’t expect you to confirm what she says, but all that I want to find out, in line with your testimony today, that kind of practice, would it be foreign to you and your understanding of Mr Bobat’s role in the office of a political office bearer?

Ms Mothepu: Indeed. I was told of the plan how Mr Bobat was going to use his new proximity with the Minister and other SOEs to channel work to Trillian so that they can economically benefit. He was supposed to provide technical and pricing assistance to give Trillian a competitive advantage over other service providers who tendered. Certainly it is foreign. I am sure it is not his own ethics in terms of being a public servant. I am sure there are many ethics it goes against. I was told of the plan and the witness that you are referring to was asked to execute it, which is why her testimony confirms what the plan was. I was just told and she was supposed to execute it. The two are completely aligned, but of course they have denied this many times but their denial is false.

Adv Vanara: So you might not know where Eric Wood got the information but he would have received this information either from the decision maker or people very close to the decision maker. When I’m referring to decision maker, I am referring to the President who has the power to fire and hire ministers.

Ms Mothepu: You are correct. In one of the Regiments bundle in the High Court, there is an email which Eric sent to Salim Essa around 8:30 on 26 October. It is the same document which he sent me earlier, but he writes; “Hi Salim, please find attached some points for the Minister”. Then he tells me the Minister of Finance will be fired, then he sends me the same document. So I suspect Mr Essa also knew but I unfortunately cannot suspect from where they got that information.

Adv Vanara: From your testimony you cannot say if the former Minister of Finance who is now the COGTA Minister knew that he was coming with this special advisor in the form of Mohamed Bobat and he knew of the plan to be executed at Treasury and through other SOEs. You can’t confirm that is that correct?

Ms Mothepu: I can’t confirm that because I never had that conversation with him, but what I know is what I was told by Eric Wood

Adv Vanara: All you know is that Eric Wood knew the former Minister of Finance was to be fired and there was going to be a new replacement with a special advisor in the form of Mohamed Bobat and that there were transactions Bobat would facilitate and channel through your company.

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: Did you get a distinct impression that Regiments/Trillian was getting these transactions through wrongful conduct of senior officials only, or were there bigger role players that facilitated the award of these transactions, or the payment of these without any contracts?

Ms Mothepu: I can’t speculate on certain things, but let me just make this enquiry. When I started working at regiments in 2007 to 2010 I was the eighth employee and we had very humble beginnings. When I left in 2010, there were 50 people. When I rejoined them in 2015, there were 270 people and they had what I called ‘blue chip public sector clients’. During the time I had left, Regiments fortunes had changed favourably. They had clients such as Denel, SA Express, Transnet, and Eskom, and I asked the CFO what was happening, and he said “It was a new model. They had these business development partners”. I later found out that it was Mr Salim Essa and Kuben Moodley. They brought these contracts. I am not sure how they were awarded, and they would get a commission of 50c for every rand that was earned through these clients. Salim Essa and Kuben would earn 50c after expenses, before tax. So unfortunately I was not privy as to how those contracts came about, but it was through a business development partner”.

Adv Vanara: Are you aware of any relationship between Regiments/Trillian and the Gupta family?

Ms Mothepu: Eric Wood once told me that he went to Saxonwold that is all I recall. He did not say which brothers he met, but he had been to Saxonwold several times.

Adv Vanara: Where you say Trillian contributed millions to the purchase of Optimum Coal Holdings by Tegeta. Is that correct?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Adv Vanara: What was the relationship between Trillian and Tegeta?

Ms Mothepu: I was a CEO and Executive of TFA. Even when I left, I read the Public Protector Report. In her report, Trillian contributed R235 million toward the sale of Optimum. During my tenure we did that transaction, so it was a surprise to read it in the Public Protector Report. We only started working at Transnet in March. My own speculation has always been where Trillian got R235 million then? My own speculation from what I read in the media is that the Transnet Pension Fund (TPF) must have paid for this mine, which is quite disturbing.

Adv Vanara: It seems these SOEs were low hanging fruit for Eric Wood and Salim Essa. Do you guys have any other client where you do this kind of work that you have been rendering at SOEs?

Ms Mothepu: The other SOE that Regiments/Trillian had was Denel, which the business development partners had brought in. While I was at Regiments, Denel had registered a bond programme, and Regiments Asset Managers had bought R400 million Denel bonds because Denel needed cash for its investment programme. When I was transferred to Trillian we assisted. We dealt with Mr Zwelakhe Ntshepe and the CFO Odwa Mhlwana in renewing their Nedbank facility. The treasurer at Denel, Marius Potgieter, required an additional R250 million from either the Regiments Asset Management Fund, or the Transnet Pension Fund. This transaction was not concluded when I left.

Adv Vanara: Lastly, the relationship between Eric Wood and Anoj Singh whilst at Transnet, and your experience of their relationship. Would you categorise it as a proper relationship or an improper relationship when you look at the number of transactions your company rendered services on where there was no procurement process followed, no contracts, and where monies were paid for mere proposals.

Ms Mothepu: The relationship was inappropriate. Even on a personal level I wouldn’t know who the executives were of other companies, but it meant that we were given staff on a silver platter which other companies did not have. Anoj was very close to Eric from the Transnet days, and while at Eskom, Anoj would give Eskom information to us on a memory stick to essentially boost our proposals.

Adv Vanara: Eric Wood has got no competence in law to appoint officials in the public sector. Do you agree with me?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, I agree with you.

Adv Vanara: Having this improper relationship and these kind of transactions at Transnet with Anoj Singh as the key individual facilitating these transactions, you might not have smelt a rat with his being moved from Transnet to Eskom. At the time that the same behavior and pattern started emerging at Eskom, what did you make of his transfer to Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: When I started in June, Mr Anoj Singh was already seconded at Eskom so I did not have a relationship with him at Transnet. At that stage I had not connected the dots in terms of the transfer of Mr Molefe and Mr Singh from Transnet to Eskom. Now in hindsight, I see the modus operandi but before then, I worked for a big four advisory firm so I was not even aware of the pending movement. I had just thought that these two professionals had done a good job as the media was saying at Transnet and Eskom needed good management to rescue it, so these two are going to give Eskom their managerial expertise. That was my thinking at the time. Obviously now it has changed substantially.

Adv Vanara: What do you make of that transfer now?

Ms Mothepu: I think when you look at Transnet and Eskom, they are the largest SOEs, with the largest budgets. That modus operandi from Transnet where you had Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Molefe at the helm, and you had Regiments and McKinsey getting big fees for big transactions. I do not know what procurement model was there, I think it was confinement. I think they identified that the next cash cow is Eskom and they were transferred and the same modus operandi was supposed to take place.

Adv Vanara: No further questions, Chair

Chairperson: It is now time to give over to the Members to pose questions, but Ms Mothepu, are you ready or do you need a three minute break.

Ms Mothepu: Let’s continue with the questions.

Questions from Members
Mr N Singh (IFP): You spoke about threats earlier on. Have you received any threats outside of this environment after the articles appeared in the media? Where are you employed at the current time, and what is your purpose for giving evidence to the Committee? Is the legal team behind you your team, and how are they funded? Have you received any information from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on whether they have formally charged you? Do you think that perhaps out of this inquiry some of the money owed to you will be paid to you, and are you looking forward to that?

Ms Mothepu: I have not received any threats from Trillian or any other person. Their response to me has been from a legal strategy. Two weeks after my statement was leaked in the Sunday Times, I received a call from a constable telling me that my former employer had opened a case against me. I think there are 10 charges: fraud, cybercrime, conspiracy, corruption, contravention of my employment contract, and everything and the “kitchen sink”. The charges are baseless, frivolous, and designed to smear me so that attention is taken away from what I have to say and focused on me. I received a call from this constable telling me that “Because of who these people are, and the political situation, he has to be seen to deal with my matter immediately”. I asked him “Who are these people, and what does politics have to do with a matter between me and my former employer?” He put a lot of pressure to go and see him without my lawyer. I told him “Absolutely not!” He sent me various texts telling me that “I was complicating life for him. I must go without my lawyer and have a warning statement issued. He is going to take the case to the NPA without my statement”. This was in the morning at 7:30am on 30 December 2016. My lawyer has many years of working and has never seen a situation where SAPS takes a case to the NPA with such speed. To this day I do not know which charges are sitting at the NPA, they are waiting for a decision. My lawyer sitting next to me wrote to Mr Shaun Abrahams, and unfortunately we have not received a response.

With regard to the fees. I have been blessed. I incurred my own fees for the first six months. I got a call from the Legal Resource Centre because they view the case of Trillian to be unconstitutional so they pay half my lawyers’ fees, and then I got support from PPLAAF, an NGO based in Paris who support whistleblowers. They are also paying for my legal fees. It was not just the criminal charges, there are two Labour Court matters that Trillian has instigated against me. They want their sign-on bonus back because I was supposed to stay there for two years, they are also accusing me of contravening my confidentiality clause in my contract even though I explained to them that the information I gave was only to my lawyer and the Public Protector as per legislation. I instigated a CCMA matter with them as well for constructive dismissal because the environment at Trillian was unbearable.

I am not employed. It has been quite difficult. Since leaving I haven’t been employed. I have had many interviews with very uncomfortable conversations about what if I am charged and prosecuted, how can they hire me? Which I believe is why Trillian decided to have the smear campaign against me. I am deemed a political risk apparently because corporate says half their revenue is with government and what happens if they hire me, are they going to take that risk? It has been 16 months since my last employment but I am hopeful that someone will take a chance.

The purpose of my testimony – I decided to go to the Public Protector to assist her in her State of Capture Report. That was my first purpose. I said, “She is investigating state capture, and she does not know Trillian’s role. I can only assist her”. Of course we know where that is in the courts. And then I went to Budlender, and at least some of what I said was verified. I have never wanted to be in the media or tell my story to the media. I wanted to be a private person and assist constitutionally empowered bodies to get to the truth. I am here because I want to tell the truth. There has been a lot of media about Eskom’s relationship with McKinsey, or Trillian’s relationship with Eskom, and I am more surprised because I know the truth. You guys read about things and have an opinion, but I know that is absolutely not true. My purpose is to assist this Committee. Daniel is my lawyer because of the Trillian criminal charges and he assisted me in my statement, I just feel comfortable to have him here. I know I am not an accused, but I just thought it would be helpful for him to be here.

Mr Singh: Thank you Chair, she has been very helpful.

Mr S Swart (ACDP): Firstly I would like to thank the witness for coming forward. You have showed great courage and resoluteness to come and give your testimony to us here. I would like you to clarify that you were investigated by the Hawks and you received a call from a constable very early in the morning, who seemed very anxious to proceed with the investigation without your lawyer being present.

But contrasted with that, have you been approached by the Hawks to give evidence into the State of Capture Report that they are supposed to be inquiring, and the Public Protector’s findings which are binding. The only aspect of the Public Protector’s remedial action which has been taken on review relates to the Commission of Inquiry. All the factual findings stand. They have not been taken on review by any person. Trillian is predominant and there is a lot of information about the role that Trillian played. In that regard, have you been approached because we know that the Public Protector’s Report was referred to the NPA and the Hawks a year ago in terms of the Public Protector Act, and it would amaze me if the Hawks have not approached you – given their enthusiasm in trying to intimidate you trying to pursue a criminal complaint against you.

Ms Mothepu: With regards to my own charges, I issued a statement in January 2017 that was drafted by my lawyers and we have not heard anything from them yet. On the Public Protector’s remedial action, I have been waiting for the Hawks to come and ask me questions. I watched Mr Shaun Abrahams a few weeks ago saying that the various phases that the Public Protector had requested to be implemented like Transnet-Trillian and Trillian-Eskom were in the process of being implemented, but they had not approached me. I am waiting for the day they give me a call, and I will be happy to assist them.

Mr Swart: Can I understand this correctly, the Hawks pursue an investigation against you but to date you, as one of the main whistleblowers in the whole State of Capture Report, have heard nothing from either the Hawks or the NPA relating to state capture?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Mr Swart: I find it absolutely astounding given the undertakings we have been given. And I have said in Parliament that there is nothing to prevent the institution of criminal and civil action against those whom allegations have been made in the Public Protector Report. I am totally shocked. Thank you for telling us that and for coming forward.

The Budlender report is a scathing indictment against Trillian and what is of concern to me is the conclusion Mr Budlender makes after he says, “The management of Trillian obstructed his investigation”. And it is very clear why it was important to keep this level of state capture hidden. Mr Budlender says there must be a full investigation and it must happen without delay because the malfeasance is continuing. Do you have any information about the ongoing malfeasance that is continuing?

Ms Mothepu: In terms of the Budlender report, I am the one who gave him the information. I flew myself to Cape Town and spent a day or two with his team. It is actually quite scary as you say, things are continuing. But as I have said, I only know what the media reports on. Up until June 2016, my knowledge is like any other normal person and you go on what the media is reporting. The investigation is still continuing. The minute I heard this inquiry is going to happen I wrote to you, I think three months ago, and in that three months a lot has happened. I am just asking and pleading with you that we get to the bottom of this and take action because every single day that there is a delay, they get away with so much more.

Mr Swart: I would like to read you a statement made in the Eskom Inquiry Reference Book which was provided by academics. It states “By shedding light on the modus operandi of a network of implicated individuals and recognised brokers, South Africans are starting to join the dots. The plausibility of any claim that reported irregularities are random and unconnected as would be the case with generalized corruption or maladministration has diminished. Instead, more and more information is coming to light that seems to collaborate claims that a coordinated political project of state capture has been underway whereby government structures have been corrupted to serve personal interests”. In your personal knowledge of the move of the Finance Minister, and the information about Trillian, would you agree with the statement that is made?

Ms Mothepu: 100%

Mr Swart: So you would fully agree that this state capture would go up to the highest level and given the prior knowledge of Mr Eric Wood that the Finance Minister was to be reappointed, you assume that President Zuma himself was aware of this?

Ms Mothepu: Unfortunately I cannot speculate what the President knows and does not know about.

Dr Z Luyenge (ANC): Can you anticipate or have you ever had a session with the Ministry to which these SOEs are accounting about these issues, if yes, what has been the response? I see that on a number of occasions you have engaged some other organisations where you were reporting this and trying to assist all those who were trying to unearth this kind of a problem faced by the country. Is there any instance where one of these institutions came back to you to get further information or let you know what it is they have done with the information you gave them, including the Public Protector?

As an executive manager at Trillian, were there any other public or private institutions, except the SOEs you have mentioned, that were benefiting from this exercise of payment without any kind of work being done? Was it not new to you to experience such gross irregularities of the PFMA in particular, at SOEs?

Was Trillian only established to work on these SOEs, if that is the case, how did you regard the partnership of Trillian and Regiment? Was that a legitimate or scrupulous kind of a partnership you can talk of?

Ms Mothepu: I have not received any feedback from the Public Protector since I saw her in September 2016. I have been working with the Budlender report, and assisted the Eskom G9 inquiry and gave them a copy of the Budlender report. But I have not received any feedback on that. Parliament is the first constitutionally empowered body to call me to testify since going to the Public Protector.

The business model of Regiments and Trillian is that they are financial advisory firms that focus on public sector. They boast of relationships and expertise in that sector. When Regiments Advisory was acquired by Eric Wood and Salim Essa; that focus on the public sector remained. They were trying to do work for the Free State and North West Provincial Government, but I was not privy to what kind of contracts or what kind of work. It was potentially those SOEs I have listed in North West and Free State province respectively.

I started connecting the dots quite late, that is why it led me to the Public Protector. I thought maybe the invoices without contracts for work done. But then I saw this was a pattern. I was excited to be part of a black management team that was going to give and transform financial advisory services to the public sector, but then I soon saw that I was essentially used for something perverse. It is not legitimate at all and it is unfortunate that there are colleagues of mine who left Regiments and I hear from the media that those colleagues were paid three months’ work and were now sitting at home. This whole Trillian saga has affected people’s lives and careers. They also left Regiments thinking they were going to be part of something groundbreaking, and unfortunately the dream was very perverse.

Dr Luyenge: Transnet was in a dire situation with regard to finance before Brian Molefe came in, and during the era of Mr Molefe it actually improved a lot. And also Eskom before he came in was in real problems. And we had no alternative but to give a pat on the shoulder of Mr Molefe because since he came into Eskom there was tremendous improvement. And then after all that there are these revelations. What can you say to that because we also need counselling as Members?

Ms Mothepu: I cannot comment on Mr Molefe’s competency. I would be speculating. But I am a believer in black transformation and excellence. Even if he played in the transformation or turnaround of some SOEs, it does not take away the fact that a lot went wrong under his tenure.

Ms N Mazzone (DA): Please allow me to say that you are very brave, and never forget that you strike a woman, you strike a rock. Stay resilient because if more people were like you, our country would not be in a state of capture. I commend you for your bravery.

Am I right in saying that consultancy firms are employed, and in SA we have a habit especially in SOEs of employing these consultancy firms on the basis that we do not have capacity. From the evidence you have just given us, Eskom had more than enough capacity and did not require the use of a consultancy firm. Am I correct?

Ms Mothepu: Yes.

Ms Mazzone: At the time that McKinsey informed the steering committee on 31 March 2016 that Trillian had failed the global risk review, but there is evidence that McKinsey had actually sent letters to their firms in the USA and UK informing them that there possible problems and breaches with internal South African laws and regulations. While you were at Regiments and working with McKinsey and going into Trillian, did you know of any of these letters that were exchanging hands between McKinsey SA and McKinsey USA and UK?

Ms Mothepu: I was not privy to those letters. Mr Eric Wood was the negotiator representing Regiments/Trillian.

Ms Mazzone: You have also told us that information would be given over on flash drives. It sounds to me rather odd that companies were exchanging information to their clients coming directly from the State, because Eskom is a SOE. Can you explain to us a little bit more what kind of information would cross hands between the State – Eskom, McKinsey and Regiments, because we know that in your book you have it written down where someone wrote down that the Finance Minister is being fired. Can you give us an indication of what kind of information was exchanged between the three?

Ms Mothepu: It was Eskom’s turnaround strategy, the corporate plan, minutes of board meetings, some Treasury policies. That is what I remember.

Ms Mazzone: I am the one who asked the question about Trillian in the first place, and as you know the answer came back that “No work was done by Trillian”. I suppose if you want to play Devil’s advocate strictly speaking, the Minister was right in saying that there was no contract, but work was being done and that is in violation of every South African finance regulation that we have. That any amount, particularly R600 million, would be transferring hands without a contract is simply ludicrous. It is difficult to grasp that anyone thought they could get away with it. That particular R600 million that was paid without a contract, what are the details of why that money was paid over?

Ms Mothepu: The payments that related to the work that I did for TFA only came in August and December 2016. I only discovered the invoices for those payments when I sat with Senior Counsel Budlender and realised that they were eventually paid.

Ms Mazzone: So it was for work that you had done but you had no idea that the work had been paid for?

Ms Mothepu: Yes. I am going to give the Committee a copy of the Budlender report, and at the back there are annexures that outline the invoices. One invoice is just over R100 million and it lists the projects that I took you through at Eskom and they were paid for that work.

Ms Mazzone: Are you quite sure that in your interaction with the Hawks, all they wanted to speak to you about was the charges brought against you and at no stage did they not want to question you on any issues you raised as red flags and concerns?

Ms Mothepu: You are correct.

Mr M Dlamini (EFF): I must commend you as well, Ms Mothepu, on your bravery and speaking the truth.

You were the Executive Director and CEO when you went with your team to Eskom and were given access cards without any contracts. Did you think you breached business ethics in how you should conduct yourself as a professional and also as a business leader to get to that environment, regardless what was said?

Ms Mothepu: We were given the access cards and a boardroom in October 2015. I was still at Regiments so I was not the Executive Director yet. I have been a consultant for 15 years, and when you work with the public sector, because you have put in a submission or RFP and they have tight deadlines but they tell you that you are the preferred person and they are just waiting for the board to approve it but the project has to be completed in three months, but the board is only sitting in two months, you work in the anticipation that the SCM and PFMA regulations will be approved. That’s what we did at Regiments and Trillian. We were told that the MSA was being approved by the board and negotiated and that it is just a matter of time for it to be approved. At one meeting, Matshela Koko said he had approached Treasury to approve the deviation to appoint McKinsey and he was awaiting approval. Work was continuing while these processes were happening concurrently. You are right that it is a contravention of the PFMA, but it is the nature of the beast that public sector approval sometimes take a long time, but when you have to appoint a consultant, they start working in anticipation that it will be approved.

Mr Dlamini: That is a scary arrangement because to me, approval is not something you can anticipate or secretly arrange to say “start working. It looks as if you are going to be appointed. Focusing on the time you were an Executive, did you under your tenure as a leader and CEO have any subcontractors under Regiments or Trillian that you appointed, and how was that relationship structured?

Ms Mothepu: We did not have subcontractors on the main body of the work. But some transactions require legal opinion and so we would subcontract a law firm to see what the PFMA had to say about a certain transaction, and how it had to be complied with. We got accounting and opinions with regard to the transfer of Transnet’s properties to the SPV. We only used service providers that provided the core properties we did not have which was legal, accounting and tax.
Mr Dlamini: Salim Essa and Eric Wood, how were they paid under your tenure as CEO, were there any other companies that your CFO paid except the ones you mentioned that were providing legal services?

Ms Mothepu: Mr Salim Essa was the 60% shareholder of Trillian. He was not an Executive Director, and I am not sure if he got paid on a monthly basis. Eric Wood was the Group CEO (GCEO), and his annual remuneration was R36 million. With regards to other companies, Trillian paid Integrated Capital R700 000 for advisory services. Trillian paid Mark Pamensky’s Fuel Property in the region of R4 million a month to conduct the due diligence and proposal for the Transnet properties.

Mr Dlamini: Did the company make any donations to NGOs or political parties? Were there any requests as a company that you must make donations to an NGO or political parties during the time that you were there?

Ms Mothepu: Not to my knowledge.

Mr Dlamini: The two companies you said were independent, what was the terms of the relationship, did they have SLAs, or you were just told to pay them?

Ms Mothepu: The R700 000 per month for Integrated Capital, I am not sure if there was a contract. And Fuel Property I am not sure if there was an SLA. I was the CEO, so I am assuming that if there was one, then I would have signed, but I never saw one and none was ever mentioned to me.

Mr Dlamini: So you are saying as a CEO, you never saw those contracts where one company was paid R4 million a month?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Mr M Gungubele (ANC): I want to thank you for the good work you are doing for your country. I think it is correct to express that view because when these things happen, they are not just affecting you as an individual, they are affecting everybody. Having known that there were these irregular invoices, and you been a financial senior there, did you process any of these invoices in your capacity as employed in the manner stated?

Ms Mothepu: No. I did not process any of the invoices. Trillian did not have policies or processes. Eric Wood would just walk into Finance and ask for an invoice, and Finance does not even ask for a contract number. Even if you see some of the invoices, there is no contract number. He simply just asked for an invoice and Finance obliged without any questions.

Mr Gungubele: In what capacity did they land on your desk so that you are able to see that they are wrong?

Ms Mothepu: They never landed on my desk. The first invoice was in February 2016. I was still at Regiments at that time, and I only realised later at Trillian that the invoice was sent. The other R40 million relating to the property, I was copied, but I did not know what the invoice meant. I only understood later that it was related to that proposal. What had happened was that I kept asking too many questions so Eric Wood asked a junior member to ask the Finance Director to generate the invoice.

As a Director, I understood my fiduciary responsibility and kept asking the difficult questions, and maybe that led to the breakdown in my relationship with Eric.

Mr Gungubele: What else did you do beyond asking questions?

Ms Mothepu: I was not asking questions. It was more “this is not right!” I expressed my concerns formally with Eric and then also, I wanted the first Exco meeting to be minuted. I have provided the Committee with extracts of that meeting. The first time I raised concerns that we do not have contracts and I was told “Do not worry, it will happen”. When you have faith in your boss, you act in good faith that these contracts will be signed soon, but you do not ever think that this is a bigger picture. It was only later on when I started to see that this is a partner and I saw the bigger picture.

Mr Gungubele: Were you aware if these invoices were ongoing; who exactly was processing these invoices in your company?

Ms Mothepu: They were processed by the CFO, Mr Tebogo Leballo. The Transnet ones were co-signed by Mr Garry Pitas, and the Transnet ones I am assuming Mr Anoj Singh, from what I saw at the back of the invoices in the Budlender report, the invoices were addressed to him.

Mr Gungubele: In other words Tebogo was processing them without asking the questions you were asking?

Ms Mothepu: That is correct.

Mr Gungubele: Let’s go to Transnet. Was this situation of invoices claimed without contract something you were able to witness on the Transnet side before Molefe and Singh came to Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: The first invoice that Trillian sent to Transnet was the R93 million club loan in December 2015. And then the others were later on in February 2016. I am not sure what dates Mr Molefe and Mr Singh left Transnet to go to Eskom, to compare when the invoices started.

Mr Gungubele: The question I am trying to put across is that the tendency of Trillian contractless invoices was evident in both those institutions, Eskom and Transnet?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, you are correct.

Mr Gungubele: What is your comment that Trillian would represent black empowerment?

Ms Mothepu: When a SOE appoints a large international advisory firm, they always insist on a black empowerment partner so that in the next round, that black empowerment partner will be able to do the work without the large international advisory firm. That was the basis of Regiments being McKinsey’s BEE partner and later on Trillian.

Mr Gungubele: Did Trillian meet that black empowerment requirement? And what was the motivation of Eric Wood getting involved in a reconfiguration from Regiments to Trillian?

Ms Mothepu: From my own understanding I think it did, but when I look at the media reports as of late, as far as I am concerned, Salim Essa was the 60% black partner through which Trillian qualified. Some of this I am only getting in the media. Salim Essa and Mr Kuben Moodley were Regiments Capital’s business development partners and they got 50% of the fees. From what I read from the affidavits of the Regiments Directors, it looks like the Guptas offered to buy Regiments in its entirety, and the two partners, Mr Pillay and Mr Nyhonyha refused. And I think Eric thought the deal was “very very competitive” so when they parted ways they agreed that he would take the financial advisory division and the management consulting division and establish a new company with Mr Essa.

Mr Gungubele: So it was an adaptation for meeting Gupta interests?

Ms Mothepu: I cannot speculate.

Mr Gungubele: The reason I am asking my question is that Pillay and Nyhonyha refused when the Guptas made their approach and Eric thought the deal was good. It is in that context I am asking the question.

Mr Pravin Gordhan (ANC): Let me also start by complimenting you on your commitment and integrity.

What would your advice be to public servants who are placed in awkward positions when they are asked to undertake tasks which are violation of the Constitution, of the PFMA, and not in the interest of the fiscus of this country, in today’s South Africa, what should honest public servants do?

Ms Mothepu: They have to resist. If you afraid you have been given an unlawful instruction by your superior or it goes against your ethics, the fact that you do not have the courage to say no, breeds the cancer, and if more people do not have the courage to say no, either because they will be victimized by their boss or suspended for refusing. And of course it comes at a great personal cost to them. If we can all stand together and say no, then they would not win. I will not romanticize saying no because there are many public sector employees who have said no and they find themselves on suspension or being sidelined.

Mr Gordhan: I hope that message will be communicated to the public and they can get encouragement from you. Many of us will accept the concept or hypothesis developed by the academics that what we are looking at is in fact a sinister scheme to both capture the state and extract from the state. Capture is not an abstract concept if undertaken by individuals as you have painted it quite adequately in your statement. And as we welcome you to the world of connecting the dots, who are the key personalities in what is now emerging to you as a fairly systematic scheme that might have started accidentally but has become a system of extraction from the state with dire consequences. Who are the key personalities collaborating/cooperating/assisting one another in this venture being undertaken?

Ms Mothepu: I can only share from my own experience and take away what I know from the media. From a Trillian and Regiments perspective, I would say the contracts were brought in by Salim Essa and Kuben Moodley. Every single SOE we dealt with, either Denel, SA Express, Transnet, Eskom, Salim had a relationship with either a board member there, or the Executive, or the Chairman. And I remember asking Eric “Who is this guy who seems to have a relationship with the entire executive and boards of DPE SOEs?” and he said that he is just a very industrious person. He is the guy that brings in the contracts. What facilitates the process is the executives and boards of SOEs as they have to approve certain things and pressurise lower management to execute them. I am sure it starts higher up, but I am not sure from where Mr Essa gets his information.

Mr Gordhan: Who are the ones that standout in your experience in Transnet and Eskom, that had these relationships with Mr Essa?

Ms Mothepu: With Transnet, it’s the Chair of the acquisition and disposal committee, Mr Stan Shane, Mr Garry Pita, Mr ‘Petuloa Mosihudi’, Mr Thami Jiyane. I never had any interaction with Mr Siyabonga Gama, except that the Transnet property proposal was allegedly given to him. From Eskom it was Mr Mark Pamensky, Mr Anoj Singh, Mr Matshela Koko, Mr Edwin Mabelane, and Mr Prish Kumar. At Denel it was Mr Marius Potgieter, the CFO, Mr Odwa Mhlwana and Mr Zwelakhe Ntshepe. At SA Express it was with the Chairman. I forgot his name. It is in my statement, and the former CEO Inati Ntshanga, and the CFO, Mr Mark Shelley.

Mr Gordhan: Was the China Development Bank loan facility taken, at what rate was it taken, and was it the most competitive rate in the market place at the time?

Ms Mothepu: Mr Singh had interacted with the Bank officials and they had given him a proposal, the turner, pricing and structure, and he asked us at Regiments to compare how competitively priced and structured it was and if the financial covenant was stringent or not stringent. We did reduce the interest rate and the evaluation was concluded. Eskom did receive that loan.

Mr Gordhan: Can you explain what the GMTN was, and the DMTN.

Ms Mothepu: That was the proposed interest rate for the China Development Bank loan. The GMTN was Eskom’s last US denominated bond issue after you convert it to rand after the cross-currency swop. DMTN was the domestic bond programme and we compared with similar bonds with a three year turner. We recommended that it was competitively priced.

Mr Gordhan: What was the final advice given on the Duvha 3 power station, was it just the insurance claim or the rebuild as well, and what was the actual extent of involvement by yourselves on that venture?

Ms Mothepu: As I explained the Duvha insurance claim was later added on by Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Matshela Koko. We had arrived very late in the process. Marsh had already given Eskom a proposal and I think the structure of that proposal was if they can settle the insurance claim quicker and appoint an EPC to start building the Duvha boiler, it would be more financially viable for them. We did very little work on that because they were finalising the options. We wrote a report advising Mr Singh which option to take.

On the Duvha boiler replacement, Trillian had put a submission via an EPC funding model. It surprised me because we knew nothing about boiler replacement and EPC. From what I have seen in the media, Eskom had appointed another EPC to build the boiler. Trillian’s role there was to review the bids and make recommendations which I thought was quite a conflict of interest because how do you advise on the insurance claim and put together a submission? I am told that submission was never successful, but then we also act as an advisor on which bid Eskom should go for. If the media is correct, that bid has been interdicted.

Mr Gordhan: Who actually benefitted apart from the R600 million that was paid for no work done. How did McKinsey benefit financially, did McKinsey manoeuvre all of this “to gain some kind of advantage” or was it a collaborated effort by McKinsey and Trillian to extract funds from Eskom?

Ms Mothepu: From my recollection, McKinsey was paid directly by Eskom and benefited R1 billion and Trillian R600 million. But it was not through McKinsey. Eskom paid Trillian directly even after it was communicated that Trillian had failed the global risk review and the partner no longer existed. I am not sure if Trillian continued working with McKinsey after I left. The witness on Friday will provide clarity on that.

Mr Gordhan: Do you have any insights to offer why in a short period of time, an entity such as Eskom deteriorates to such an extent in a financial sense – let alone the governance side which we will come back to?

Ms Mothepu: It is heartbreaking. At one point, Eskom had a higher rating than the sovereign. Corporate governance was intact, management was intact, and all of a sudden there was this Denton’s report and all of a sudden people were suspended and new management came in and you started seeing deterioration in Eskom’s financial viability. The last bond issue was R1.25 billion and it was 18% which was unheard of. After the suspension and sacking of the previous management, Eskom’s credit ratings were downgraded, meaning that the cost of debt increased substantially because of managerial instability and corporate governance. You would see how shifts in management affected its financial sustainability. There is R1.6 billion sitting with McKinsey and Trillian that we have to finance for. I am completely shocked especially given the fact that Eskom has such a pivotal role to play in economic development and now it is the sovereign’s largest risk with R350 billion of government guarantee. It can no longer borrow on its own credit rating. It requires the sovereign to give it its guarantee.

Mr Gordhan: What are some of the principal factors that led to Eskom’s decline, and what should the Minister in charge have done?

Ms Mothepu: There have been suspensions and investigations. Should those investigations prove that the board or executive is wrong then they should be held accountable.

Mr Gordhan: How much do you think Trillian, McKinsey, Regiments and other allies have extracted from SOEs?

Ms Mothepu: I am not sure about McKinsey because the only number I know of is the R1 billion from Eskom. I would say hundreds of millions or billions from the Regiments - Transnet, and Trillian received R200 million from Eskom in its first year from Transnet and then R600 million from Eskom. In its first year of operation Trillian made approximately R800 million. I am not sure about Regiments, I was quite junior and did not have sight of those invoices.

Mr Gordhan: What was the extent of your involvement in the Transnet procurement of 1 046 locomotives, who and how was that scheme set up to allow someone to take from the public purse 20% and make billions, and is that recoverable in your view?

Ms Mothepu: My involvement was very extensive. We went to see lenders. I negotiated the pricing. I had to write a pricing motivation for Mr Garry Pita on why the price had increased. My involvement was very extensive. It was my life’s work. I spent more time at Transnet treasury negotiating with the banks, dealing with their lawyers to do the CPs. It was extensive and imagine my surprise when reading a media report that Trillian was paid for that when I did that work while at Regiments.

Mr Gordhan: Can you contribute the various ways in which money was assembled to enable Oakbay to execute that deal for Optimum Coal Holdings. In other words, it seems some money came from the Transnet Pension Fund, through certain payments to Trillian. If you cannot do it now, you can indicate to the Chair when and how you can do it. It would be nice to get a more holistic picture of the various ways in which money was reassembled.

The Chairperson: Could you submit that last point in writing for us.

Ms Mothepu: I can do that but it will be my own interpretation and not necessarily facts. I will put a disclaimer that these are my thoughts and not factual findings.

Mr Gordhan: Can you shed light on how you met Mr Pamensky and what his role was?

Ms Mothepu: The first time I met Mr Pamensky was by Mr Eric Wood. It was envisioned that Mr Pamensky was going to be Trillian Properties CEO. Then he got conflict opinion and said that he wanted an arm’s length between Trillian and himself. He established Fuel Property and acted as a consultant or CEO. I am not sure in which capacity he worked at Fuel Property. This Fuel Property assisted Transnet Property in putting together the Transnet Property proposal and they were paid. He was also an Eskom non-executive board member but I did not interact with Mr Pamensky on the Eskom side.

Mr Gordhan: You made reference to Mr Bobat who I believe is still an advisor at COGTA and you said Mr Wood said to you that the whole Sunday was spent, I imagine that is 14 December 2015.

Ms Mothepu: The whole Friday.

Mr Gordhan: So they were working on a plan for Treasury.

Ms Mothepu: Yes. And they had appointed a PR firm to write his speech and spent the whole day with the Minister in Pretoria.

Mr Gordhan: And in the COGTA era from 15 December onwards, what has Mr Bobat’s role been?

Ms Mothepu: As Adv Vanara had indicated, there is another witness coming on Friday and she can provide insight on that because she interacted with Mr Bobat. I was told of a plan and she was asked to execute. The intentions for Treasury they took to COGTA, whether they succeeded or not. But there were several attempts by Trillian to send information to COGTA and try to get business from COGTA. I cannot confirm whether they succeeded or not. I cannot confirm whether Trillian was paid for that or not.

Mr N Shivambu (EFF): Thank you Ms Mothepu for your candidness and clear guidance in terms of what we need here as a Committee. Do I hear your submission to be saying that Trillian was paid money for work not done and in some instances paid more money than the work they had done, is that the summary of your submission?

Ms Mothepu: That is a summary of my submission, Honourable Shivambu.

Mr Shivambu: And this mostly came from Transnet and Eskom, or does it extend to other SOEs?

Ms Mothepu: Transnet, Eskom, SA Express. We worked at Denel but to my knowledge they were not paid. There was no contract

Mr Shivambu: We might need to get information on the SA Express payment to Trillian, and the work done at Denel so that we cover the whole issue. Are you aware of the money that came to Regiments and ultimately Trillian that came from the Transnet Second Defined Fund because we wrote to the Principal Officer, Piet Maritz, and he confirmed that R228 million was sent to Regiments and found its way into the accounts of Trillian. Are you aware of that?

Ms Mothepu: Only from the media.

Mr Shivambu: When you were CEO, were you banking with the Bank of Baroda because this report by Senior Counsel Budlender said that the R160 million given to Tegeta to purchase Optimum Coal Holding came from the Bank of Baroda?

Ms Mothepu: Trillian had accounts with the Bank of Baroda. I did not have access to the bank accounts, but I know that the Bank of Baroda was one of the bankers.

Mr Shivambu: Did I hear you to be saying that you had seen a document detailing what the new Minister of Finance was going to do after Eric Wood said there was going to be new Minister?

Ms Mothepu: Yes, that is correct. It is in your bundle.

Mr Shivambu: We are in a bigger crisis than we had imagined. The problem is so much bigger and to actually characterise it as corruption or theft is an understatement. It was looting at an industrial scale. The problem is that it is continuing and the criminal justice system is not doing anything to prevent the continuation of the looting currently ongoing in South Africa. We have to do something. We cannot just talk about it forever. It is going to collapse the country. Eskom’s situation is worse. They are now asking for money and asking to increase electricity prices. It is affecting ordinary people’s lives. It is one of the things we might have to provide guidance in the immediate. We might need to look into what some of the immediate interventions could be. We said when we started this process that we would need to submit preliminary reports to the National Assembly for adoption. We might need to table some issues before the NA and then they take a resolution. We cannot wait for the entire process to conclude without intervening in areas where we can to stop continued looting.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Mothepu for her willingness to testify before the Committee and reminded members that nothing had stopped happening beyond the walls of Parliament. The information Ms Mothepu gave the Committee went beyond the serious allegations of state looting and the Committee would go further to interrogate all issues.

The meeting was adjourned.