Two former Eskom senior executives and two directors of seven companies will appear in the Johannesburg regional court on Thursday on charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The suspects allegedly spent R30 million in the construction of projects at Eskom’s power plants in their own pocket.
The Hawks, in collaboration with the National Prosecuting Authority’s investigative directorate, arrested the suspects in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng respectively on Tuesday morning.
According to the Hawks national spokeswoman Hangwani Mulaudzi started investigating the case after questions were raised about the construction of two major projects at the Medupi and Kusile power plants.
A preliminary investigation indicated that contractual agreements between contractors, Eskom employees and third parties at the Kusile power plant were horribly manipulated.
An in-depth investigation revealed that the contract had been manipulated in various ways. Among other things, it was revealed that:
- Officers in senior management positions at Eskom manipulated the power giant’s procurement system;
- Employees at Eskom have scaled the scope of the project at Kusile, without proper justification.
In June 2015, Eskom’s team managing the project at Kusile made a request to Eskom’s procurement committee. They wanted a mandate to negotiate and conclude a contract with one of the companies involved in the case. The R745m contract was for the construction of two air-conditioned capacitors at Kusile and was approved the same year.
“It is now alleged that between February 2015 and July 2017, the companies, other related entities and individuals distributed R30 million of these between themselves,” says Mulaudzi.