Cops, NPA lauded for Eskom graft busts
In a joint operation this week, the Hawks, Special Investigations Unit and the NPA arrested two Eskom senior managers, two businessmen and seven companies for alleged corruption, fraud and money laundering at the power utility.
Former Eskom group executive for group capital division, Abram Masango, and former Eskom senior manager for group capital division, France Hlakudi, were among those arrested and appeared before the Johannesburg Regional Court on fraud and corruption charges.
Masango, Hlakudi and the two businessmen, Antonio Jose Trindade and Hudson Kgomoeswana, were all granted R300 000 bail each. They were also ordered to surrender their passports to the investigating officer.
Their arrests and court appearance come amid cries that the law enforcement agencies were not acting against those implicated in corruption-related cases.
IFP’s Narend Singh said the arrests were expected as they had been a long time coming.
“The problems at Eskom are not because of maintenance problems but there is a lot of corruption. When I sat on the Committee on Public Enterprises, I appealed to the then chairperson Dipuo Letstatsi-Duba that we hold an inquiry. It was fortunate that we had that inquiry because it showed that there were a number of people with their fingers in the cookie jar,” said Singh.
The DA’s Ghaleb Cachalia said the arrests were long overdue, but the new Hawks team had taken a bit of time to settle down.
“They’re now showing signs of holding people to book and that is very welcome, because this is the very proof that a forensic audit was needed because these are the things that would come out,” Cachalia said.
He added it was clear to most South Africans that were numerous instances of corruption within the embattled power supplier.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the NPA and Hawks had been under pressure to implement some of the findings of several ongoing commissions of inquiry.
“It’s pleasing that they’re beginning to take some action, but it must not just be arresting people and them just appearing in court for a day or so and be given bail and then we forget about that.
“There should be special courts dedicated to finish these cases, so that those implicated or are accused know their fate as speedily as possible,” Holomisa added.