SIU looks to recover R8bn through civil litigation linked to corruption at Eskom

The unit on Wednesday updated the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on its investigations at the power utility, which got underway over two years ago.

FILE: Eskom’s Megawatt Park in Johannesburg on 12 March 2015. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Special Investigating Unit has told Parliament that it was looking to recover more than R8 billion through civil litigation linked to fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing at Eskom.

The unit on Wednesday updated the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on its investigations at the power utility, which got underway over two years ago.

The SIU focused on the more than 5,500 officials it had referred to Eskom for disciplinary proceedings after they were found to have conflicts of interest, did business with the entity or were red-flagged in lifestyle audits.

The SIU said that 135 Eskom employees did business with the power utility to the value of R6 billion.

It has also uncovered that suspicious payments of R136m by four build contractors at Kusile power station and four Eskom officials were paid R44 million in kickbacks.

The SIU’s lead Eskom investigator, Claudia O’Brien said that investigations into three of the four contractors were at an advanced stage.

“We have found evidence pointing to the commission of fraud, contraventions of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (Pocaca), corruption and money laundering.”

O’Brien said that there was evidence of R100m in kickbacks paid to a sub-contractor to secure contracts for cloud computing, software and licences.

“Criminal referrals are being prepared. Civil remedies will be considered once the investigation is complete.”

Thirty-nine cases have been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for criminal investigation while 32 have been referred to the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Counsel for the SIU is preparing civil litigation to set aside contracts valued at around R4bn and the recovery of more than R8 billion.

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