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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


AFU awarded R584m order against ex-ABB employees, wives and Eskom subcontractors

The Gauteng High Court granted the order in terms of section 26 of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act.


The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has been awarded a provisional restraint order valued at R583.8m against former employees of ABB South Africa (ZAABB), their wives and Eskom subcontractors.

The Gauteng High Court granted the order in terms of section 26 of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act on Thursday, and has been served and enforced against 6 accused and 14 interested parties.

Defendants

The former ZAABB employees, Mohammed Essop Mooidheen and Vernon Pillay, together with their wives Raeesa Mooidheen and Aradhna Pillay, Eskom subcontractor Impulse International (Pty) Ltd (in liquidation) and Indiwize Construction, are accused of corruption, money laundering, fraud, forgery and uttering in the Palm Ridge Regional Court.

In court papers, it was submitted that the defendants received benefits totalling R583.8 million. In addition, R24 million was siphoned to employees of Impulse.

Crimes

The crimes were allegedly committed in relation to alleged unlawfully concluded contract prices between ABB SA, and subcontractors Impulse and Indiwize in 2016 and 2017.

It is alleged that the contract was unlawfully concluded and that the contract price was inflated.

During 2015, ZAABB was awarded and then concluded a contract with Eskom in respect of the Control & Instrumentation (C&I) System for Units 1 to 6, and the Balance of the Plant at Kusile.

This in addition to R1.6bn paid to Eskom in 2020 after its implication in state capture-era corruption.

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Properties restrained

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Investigating Directorate National Spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said the curator has restrained several properties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal today.

“Asset Forfeiture Unit, Adv Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba said the NPA has a 2-pronged strategy to prosecute and take away assets. This is a clear execution of that strategy.”

“The matter forms part of a broader investigation by the Investigating Directorate into corruption at Eskom, assisted by the Hawks. The criminal leg of the matter returns to court on 09 May 2023,” Sebka said.

Corruption

This is the second positive stride linked to corruption. Last year, the Investigating Directorate scored R2.5bn from international company ABB, paid into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA), administered by National Treasury in January this year.

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