Former Eskom manager describes the ‘last straw’ that forced him out
Johann Bester tells the state-capture commission that he resigned because his wife, ‘aware of his unhappiness’ at Eskom, threatened to leave him
In an emotional end to his testimony at the state-capture inquiry‚ former Eskom fuel-sourcing manager Johann Bester said he could not confide in‚ nor trust‚ his superiors.
Breaking into tears‚ Bester told the commission’s chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday, that it was a “tragedy” that Eskom officials were suspended or forced out because they would not comply with unscrupulous decisions by their managers.
“Even though I had probably not been at Eskom as long as some of the colleagues I refer to ... these are people that I could look up to‚ that I could trust. It’s just a tragedy what happened to some of the people. The last straw came when I thought I could still make a difference.
“About a year before I resigned‚ towards the end of 2014‚ I wrote a paper to the board ... that if Eskom didn’t spend R25bn on cost-plus contracts in the next five years‚ the cost of that would be R92bn ... it never reached the board.”
Bester asked for five minutes to compose himself.
On Monday‚ he told the commission that he resigned from the utility because his wife threatened to leave him. “She was aware of my unhappiness and I would bring my unhappiness home‚” Bester said.
Matshela Koko was the group executive for generation at the time.
Bester testified that he was under significant pressure and realised that Ayanda Ntetha‚ who was his subordinate at the time‚ was being directly engaged by Koko.