DPE and FF+ welcome Eskom's R3.8bn lawsuit
Cape Town - The Public Enterprises Department (DPE) has given a thumbs up to the legal action instituted by Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recoup R3.8 billion lost to state capture corruption.
Today, Eskom and the SIU announced that summons were issued in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to recover funds from the utility's former executives, board members, the Gupta family and their associates.
"This is an essential milestone in the fight against corruption and state capture and ensuring that those that were found to be complicit and benefited from the malfeasance that resulted are held accountable.
"As the shareholder representative (on behalf of the government) the DPE supports the claim for damages of about R3.8 billion," spokesperson Sam Mkokeli said.
Mkokeli also said the department would work closely with Eskom and other state-owned companies to ensure that all other instances of corruption that have been covered at the Zondo commission and through media investigative reports were dealt with.
"We are confident that the legal action will give impetus to the broader fight against massive corruption which must not only see funds recouped, but also ultimately lead to the arrests and criminal prosecution of suspects.
"The law enforcement agencies are urged to expedite the criminal cases opened against the natural and juristic persons identified to be complicit in this action to ensure that they face the full might of the law," he said.
The Freedom Front Plus also welcomed the civil claim, saying it had long been asking that steps be taken to recover the funds lost at Eskom due to corruption.
Freedom Front Plus MP Wouter Wessels said the guilty parties should now also be criminally prosecuted.
"Taking civil steps is not enough and could be seen as no more than window-dressing because the estimated R3.8 billion will most probably not be successfully recovered from the implicated individuals," Wessels said.
"To effectively combat corruption, the politicians who are implicated in irregular transactions must be duly prosecuted and severely punished," he added.