Extradition efforts commence for Eskom contractor as British Courts issues hefty bail
Durban – A former Eskom contractor has been granted a hefty bail fee of over £100 000 (more than R1.9 million) and has paid a further £250 000 (about R4.9m) as surety at the Westminister Magistrate’s Court in the UK.
Former Eskom contractor Michael Harry Lomas was arrested on April 15 in London.
As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to handover his passport and South African ID to the police, he has to adhere to curfew between midnight and 6am daily and his curfew conditions were to be electronically monitored.
He is barred from going to any international travel hub – ferry port, railway, or airport.
He has to report to a stipulated police station at stated times and days and he may not apply for international travel documents or be in possession of any such documents.
The Investigating Directorate said it was pleased Lomas was arrested and his arrest meant the UK authorities could now began the extradition process to South Africa in earnest.
Investigating Directorate head advocate Hermione Cronje, said it was a step in the right direction.
“Our main focus this year is dealing with corruption in Eskom and Transnet, we will do so with vigour to ensure that those implicated account,” she said.
Lomas was arrested after months of talks between the authorities in South Africa and the UK.
Lomas is wanted in South Africa in connection with a fraud and corruption case where the power utility paid over R745m to Tubular Construction Projects.
This payment exposed the state-owned entity to R1.4bn price escalation of the contract.
ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said Lomas was indicted along with four other accused in South Africa who were arrested in December 2019 and were expected back in court on June 1.
“Lomas, who was out of the country, has never co-operated with law enforcement to stand trial.
“The ID brought an extradition application through the UK central authorities to invoke the European Convention on Extradition 1957, the UN Convention against Corruption 2003 to assist in bringing Lomas back into South Africa to account.
“In line with the UK extradition court processes, he needs to appear in the British courts, and only after the matter has been ventilated there, will the court decide whether or not to extradite him back into South Africa,” said Seboka.