SIU hopes Eskom litigation will be speeded up, dismiss Molefe's claims
Johannesburg – The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it has instituted a court action against former Eskom executives and board members as well as the Gupta family members and their associates based on legal advice it has obtained.
The corruption-busting unit hopes the court case enlisted will be speedily adjudicated amid clogged court rolls.
On Tuesday, Eskom and the SIU announced that they issued a summons in the North Gauteng High Court to recover R3.8 billion lost through alleged state capture corruption and spent on the acquisition of the controversial Optimum Coal Holdings and payments made to Trillian by Eskom executives.
A host of 12 people who included the power utility's former executives, board members, Gupta family members and their associates were cited as defendants.
The litigation arises from several investigations by the SIU into the contracts at Eskom since a proclamation was signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: "The legal opinion advised that the high court be used."
He would not explain the jurisdiction of matters highlighted.
The corruption watchbody approached the high court despite previous complaints over the years about delays in the processing of matters involving it.
There had also been a push for the re-establishment of the SIU Special Tribunal amid concerns that the prosecution of corruption through civil litigation be expedited as large amounts of money were involved.
Kganyago said they were confident that the Eskom litigation would be speeded up.
He dismissed assertions made by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe in a television interview that he had not been served with a letter of demand before the SIU and Eskom announced the court action.
Molefe contends that in civil proceedings summons are normally issued after letters of demands were sent to a defendant.
Kganyago said: "It is not working that way. I don't know what normal he talks about. These are summons which are served by a sheriff (of the court).
“This is not like we say pay us the money. These are summons," Kganyago said.