Court freezes R1.4bn of former Eskom execs, suppliers’ assets

───   11:06 Tue, 04 May 2021

Court freezes R1.4bn of former Eskom execs, suppliers’ assets | News Article
PHOTO: Lastochkin

A restraint order on assets amounting to R1.4 billion belonging to former Eskom executives and Tubular Construction Projects' contractors was executed in various provinces on Tuesday morning.

The Citizen reports according to Sindisiwe Seboka, spokesperson for the National Prosecution Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID), the order was awarded by the Gauteng North High Court in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act.

The order was served on:

  • Former Eskom senior manager for Capital Contracts, France Hlakudi,
  • Former Eskom group executive for Group Capital, Abram Masango,
  • Former Tubular Construction Projects CEO, Antonio Trindade,
  • Businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana,
  • Former Tubular Holdings Executive Advisor, Michael Lomas, and
  • six companies owned by the individuals.

“In addition, their spouses’ assets and their family trusts were included in the restraint order,” Seboka said in a statement.

In February, the two former Eskom executives appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg for their alleged part in swindling the power utility out of millions.

The charge sheet for the two includes fraud, corruption, money laundering, offering unauthorised gratifications, and receiving unauthorised gratification in relation to the multibillion-rand Kusile power plant. Masango and Hlakudi are accused of receiving a R30 million bribe each from contractors.

Their co-accused are charged with fraud and corruption, with Kgomoeswana facing an additional charge of money laundering. Kgomoeswana and his company, Babinatlou Business Services CC, are accused of facilitating the bribes on behalf of the Kusile contractors to the former Eskom employees.

The accused are scheduled to be back in court on 1 June.

“Lomas, a resident of the United Kingdom, was arrested last month in the UK. The process of his extradition back to South Africa started last month and this matter will return to the London Westminster Magistrate's Court on 20 May 2021 for case management,” Seboka said.

In September last year, while addressing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations (Scopa) on its financial issues, Eskom revealed the Specialised Investigating Unit (SIU) were probing companies who are alleged to have received overpayments of R4 billion at the utility’s Kusile Power Station Project.

During the virtual meeting, Eskom said the contracts implicated by the R4 billion overpayment include Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) South Africa (R1 billion), Tenova Mining and Minerals (R735 million), Tubular Construction (R1 billion), and Stefanutti Stocks (R1 billion).

Other various site service contracts, which total to R180 million, were not in the scope of the SIU probe.

The Citizen/Additional reporting by Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni and Molefe Seeletsa

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