Cape Town – A former Eskom employee and a service provider have been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court.
Former Eskom financial controller Mosai Barnard Moraka and Eskom service provider Victor Vilosi Tshabalala were convicted on 53 counts of fraud and theft which cost the power utility R35 million.
The court further ordered the duo to forfeit their respective properties to the state which were already placed under a preservation order in November 2021.
Their estates will be sold and proceeds paid directly to Eskom.
Eskom Group chief executive André de Ruyter welcomed the sentence and said this was another milestone in the power utility’s efforts to weed out corruption within its ranks.
“While the sums involved in this particular case are relatively modest, the conviction and sentencing of these criminals should send a strong message to all Eskom employees that corrupt elements have no place in the organisation. This is only one of the many cases of corruption that Eskom is pursuing involving staff,” he said.
Moraka and Tshabalala were arrested in October 2019 after Eskom’s Audit and Forensics department initiated an investigation.
De Ruter said the most pleasing moment in this judgment was that the taxpayers would recover some of the stolen funds through the sale of the ill-gotten property belonging to the duo.
During sentencing, magistrate Emmanuel Magampa said the pair were motivated by greed.
He said crime against state-owned companies drained the country’s resources through billions in cash bailouts that the government must keep advancing to stricken parastatals.
Magampa said Moraka, as an employee of Eskom, was in a position of trust which placed a duty on him to be vigilant and diligent when dealing with the power utility resources as well as to be protective and safeguard against theft.
Evidence before the court revealed that Moraka and Tshabalala ran a corruption scam from January 2016 to September 2018, in which they created fictitious invoices and payments for services never rendered to Meagra Transportation, a company owned by Tshabalala.
The money pocketed was spent on expensive holidays abroad including trips to Disneyland in the US and to Paris, and luxury vehicles and properties.