Appearing before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) revealed its findings and outcomes of its investigations at Eskom after allegations of corruption, fraud and mismanagement surfaced.
Alongside SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi, lead investigator Claudia O’Brien told the committee that four Eskom officials received unlawful payment amounting to R44.4 million on new build projects at various power stations.
O’Brien said the matter comes after the SIU red flagged 29 contract packages at the Kusile, Medupi, Matla, Majuba and Ingula power stations as the investigations were already in progress with 19 of the contract packages.
She said the findings revealed suspicious payments totalling R136 million by four build contractors at Kusile to two sub-contractors.
“In turn they channelled unlawful payments totalling R44.4 million to four Eskom officials, who have been identified.”
O’Brien added that investigations relating to the three of the four contractors were at an advanced stage.
“The investigation of the fourth contractor is in its early stages. Evidence was found pointing to the commission of fraud, contraventions of PACOCA (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004), corruption and money laundering.”
Conflict of interest
O’Brien said that the unit found that 324 Eskom officials who were linked to entities that were Eskom vendors.
“About 135 of these officials have conducted business with Eskom to the value of at least R6 billion,” she said.
Based on the findings, O’Brien said the SIU has made 5 512 referrals to Eskom to institute disciplinary proceedings.
She said 5 452 Eskom officials were found to have failed to submit declarations of interest while 60 of the referrals relate to officials who were either doing business with Eskom or failed to declare their interests in outside business entities.
O’Brien added that Eskom referred 34 red flagged officials to the SIU for further investigation in terms of lifestyle audits of all executives.
“To date, SIU has referred eight of the Eskom employees for disciplinary proceedings, seven have resigned and some will be referred to NPA, 19 of the cases are still ongoing.”
O’Brien further said the SIU and Eskom have instituted action against 12 parties in relation to the Optimum Coal Mine purchase by Tegeta (for R3.8 billion). “The matter is still in progress.”