Former senior technician at struggling power utility, Eskom, Themba Teddy Mpika appeared before the Middelburg Regional Court in Mpumalanga facing allegations of defrauding the state-owned entity.
The 48-year-old was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, on charges of fraud and theft.
“It is alleged that between 2016 and 2019, the accused was employed by Eskom as a senior technician, stationed at Camden power station,” Hawks spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Warrant Officer Thandi Tshabalala said.
“While working for Eskom, the accused, as a sole director of the company called My Teddy Enterprise PTY Ltd applied for a tender at Eskom, and the tender was awarded.
“In the process, the accused (Mpika) failed to declare that he is employed by Eskom. The accused further provided misleading information on the company’s integrity declaration form, by failing to indicate that he is conducting business with Eskom,” said Tshabalala.
Instead, the Hawks said Mpika indicated on the declaration forms that he does not conduct “any business” with Eskom.
“As a result, Eskom suffered an actual loss of about R6 million,” said Tshabalala.
The accused was granted R200,000 bail, and the case was postponed to January 15, for further investigations.
Last week, IOL reported that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was granted a freezing order by the High Court in Pretoria for property and money valued at R29 million belonging to “a syndicate that stole” from Eskom.
The order was granted on Thursday, according to NPA Gauteng regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.
“The restraint order is to freeze properties and cash worth R29 million belonging to a syndicate that stole from Eskom. Mothelli Ben Theletsane, who has since passed on, was employed at Eskom on a contract basis and worked in a pre-paid environment, supporting Eskom's pre-paid vending system,” Mahanjana said at the time.
“He (Theletsane) operated as a supervisor in his role and therefore obtained intimate knowledge of the operations of machines, and he also acquired technical expertise on the ins and outs of the Credit Dispensing Units (CDU).”
Moreover, Mahanjana said that during his employment, Theletsane also acquired, unknowingly, from Eskom a master vending unit that can generate “limitless” prepaid electricity vouchers and a few credit dispensing units, which he concealed after his exit from Eskom.
“After his passing in 2017, the business was taken over by his wife Thandi Roselinah Theletsane, 50, and her three sons, Papi Isaac Theletsane, 31; Tebello Lucky Theletsane, 24; and Sibusiso Alfred Migal, 34,” said Mahanjana.