Eskom suspends head of security Karen Pillay amid R500 million tender probe

File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Published Jun 22, 2023


Pretoria - Eskom has placed head of security Karen Pillay on precautionary suspension following allegations she was involved in irregularly awarding a R500 million security tender to Fidelity.

Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said this was done to finalise an outcome of a probe into allegations made against Pillay in the awarding of a R500m tender to Fidelity Security Services (FSS).

The African Security Congress (ASC), a political party that looks after the interests of private security guards, in particular the public sector, held a media briefing on Tuesday and called for more heads to roll.

The party claimed that operations manager Jan Oberholzer and former CEO André de Ruyter, allegedly colluded with Pillay to give FSS an uncontested tender.

The news of the contract broke in the media last month, with Eskom saying its security contract with FSS was above board.

Eskom issued a statement saying that the placement of the FSS contract was in line with Eskom’s procurement procedure and the National Treasury’s directives for emergency procurement of services.

The power utility said the placement of the security contract was necessitated by information received by management indicating that there was a serious security risk to Eskom’s operations and assets.

Eskom said the contract was established from July 2022 to September 2022 with an estimated R500m budget.

It was placed under emergency procurement to avert potential threats and safeguard critical Eskom sites. The contract scope focused on critical power stations, strategic corporate sites, and the transmission network.

“Prior to placement of the contract, Eskom assessed the quotation from the supplier in responding to Eskom’s request, and it was satisfied with proceeding with their offering, including the prices quoted.

“Operationally, across Eskom sites, there was daily and monthly monitoring of activities and the payment of the invoices over the three months was in line with the contracted services. A total of about R250 million, including VAT, was spent for the duration of the contract,” Eskom said at the time.