Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

SIU clamps down on corruption at Eskom, wants to recoup R8.7bn in irregular contracts

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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Cape Town – The Special Investigating Unit is gunning for companies that siphoned off R8.7 billion from Eskom after they were awarded irregular contracts over the past few years.

SIU head Andy Mothibi told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday they had also identified a number of officials who had been doing business with the company and those who colluded with the private companies.

He said they identified 5 452 officials at Eskom who failed to declare their financial interests. A total of 134 officials were referred for disciplinary action. The SIU said 135 officials were doing business with Eskom. The SIU referred 39 cases to the National Prosecuting Authority for corruption.

Mothibi said they had to gone to court to recoup the R8.7bn irregularly awarded to the companies. In one of the applications, the court had already set aside a R3.7bn contract.

Members of Scopa said the monies should be recovered for the irregular contracts and officials implicated in wrongdoing must face the full might of the law.

Mothibi said the court action would ensure Eskom was returned to business because it was key to the economy.

Eskom had in the past been dogged by several dodgy contracts and the SIU was roped in to probe the contracts.

Mothibi said they wanted to see action and the monies recovered.

He said they also wanted action on officials at Eskom who were involved in corruption.

He told Scopa they would want to reach finality on their investigations.

"When we do these matters, either referral for a disciplinary process for civil litigation or criminal, the speed of action is something we are looking at because we would like to show consequence management as speedily as possible," said Mothibi.

"We have observed that and I have been on record as saying the scourge of corruption has resulted in, amongst others, by the fact there has been this seeming impunity, people just perpetrating acts of corruption and criminality thinking that nothing will happen to them because the system had not been showing that there could be action taken, there could be consequence management," he said.

"But now we are driving that to make sure there is consequences on all fronts, either it is disciplinary processes we are following up with Eskom that they implement our referrals, follow up with the NPA and the civil litigation we are having control of that, end to end," said Mothibi.

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