It was found that Thephunokheja Projects indirectly benefited from two of the power utility’s suppliers, Community Logistic Managers Africa and Tembathio.
It was found that Thephunokheja Projects indirectly benefited from two of the power utility’s suppliers, Community Logistic Managers Africa and Tembathio.

Millions held in Eskom official Petrus Mazibuko’s account forfeited to state

By Mashudu Sadike Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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Pretoria - The Special Tribunal has ordered that more than R11 million held in a bank account linked to Eskom senior manager Petrus Mazibuko be forfeited to the state.

It was found that Thephunokheja Projects, owned by Mazibuko and his brother Shadrack, indirectly benefited from two of the power utility’s suppliers, Community Logistic Managers Africa and Tembathio.

Eskom placed the senior manager for coal operations on preliminary suspension, after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) started proceedings to freeze the R11m held in a bank account linked to him.

He is also a director, along with his brother Shadrack, at Thephunokheja Projects.

The SIU, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to investigate this among others maladministration, obtained an interim order in May which preserved the R11.5m found that in the bank account linked to Mazibuko.

The SIU approached the tribunal to freeze the funds after allegations were received from a whistle-blower that Mazibuko was receiving gratification.

In a judgment seen by Pretoria News, the tribunal ordered that the R11.5m be seized by the state.

The judgment read in part: “Petrus and Shadrack Mazibuko and Thephunokheja Projects contravened Section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Activities Act by accepting gratification from Eskom suppliers for their benefit in order to influence unjust results.

“The findings were deemed to be nothing but proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The Special Tribunal also found that the conduct of Patrick Mazibuko was in contravention of section 17(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 2004, that he, a public official, may not acquire or hold a private interest in any contract, agreement or investment emanating from or connected with the public body.

The parties were also ordered to pay the costs of the hearing, including the costs of senior counsel.

The SIU welcomed the judgment, and spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We revealed that the only source of income into Thephunokheja Projects was from the two Eskom suppliers, and we have found no evidence that could point to a proposition that that company rendered services or was legally entitled to claim for goods or services rendered that paid the funds. Therefore we welcome the ruling."

Efforts to get hold of Petrus Mazibuko by deadline were fruitless.

Pretoria News

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