Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
22 Apr 2021
10:39 am

Ex-Eskom official loses bid to have R30m tax evasion charge struck off roll

Thapelo Lekabe

France Hlakudi is accused of tax evasion while in the employ of Eskom as a senior manager for capital contracts.

Picture File: Former Eskom executive France Hlakudi in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. Picture: Gallo Images

 

Former senior Eskom official France Hlakudi’s application to have a tax evasion charge removed from his charge sheet was dismissed by the Pretoria Regional Court on Thursday morning.

Hlakudi is accused of tax evasion of more than R30 million while in the employ of Eskom as a senior manager for capital contracts.

He brought the application in March.

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However, magistrate Adriaan Bekker ruled in favour of the Investigating Directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority to keep the fraud charges against Hlakudi.

According to the directorate, the fraud and contravention of the Tax Administration Act charges relate to his personal tax affairs and of his companies, Hlakudi Translation and Interpretation cc, Coxinel Chicken (Pty) Ltd and Bon Services Telcom cc.

This is for funds received from 2015 to 2018.

“The ruling handed down in the Pretoria Regional Court allows the Investigating Directorate, working with Sars [SA Revenue Service], to swiftly proceed with the matter of fraud and tax evasion of R30m against former Eskom senior manager for capital contracts,” spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said in a statement.

Seboka said on Wednesday Hlakudi could face a sentence of about 15 years imprisonment on the fraud charges.

The case returns to court on 24 May 2021.

At the same time, Hlakudi and three co-accused face fraud, corruption and money laundering charges in connection with the R745 million Eskom Kusile case.

This matter was postponed to 1 June 2021.