Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom has welcomed the arrest of an employee linked to the alleged tender irregularities at Kriel Power Station.
According to Eskom's Forensic Department, which received a tip-off from a member of the public on October 28, 2022, about alleged corruption relating to a tender for the provision of coal yard lighting for a period of 12 months at Kriel Power Station.
"The investigations revealed that after the closing date, four service providers had responded to the request for proposals (RFPs). Subsequent to all necessary evaluations, the buyer approached the key stakeholders involved in the evaluation process to request the supplier submit another bid with an inflated price, with the understanding that the difference between the original price and the new price would be shared among themselves," reads the statement.
The supplier subsequently submitted a second proposal with a new tender value that was nearly twice as much as the first sum, according to the Eskom statement, and was chosen.
"The supplier started paying those involved an amount of R25 000 each on separate occasions, with the first payment made on October 21, 2022.
“The matter was reported to Eskom’s forensic department by one of the recipients of the money, whom the department and members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Commercial Crime Unit accompanied to Boksburg North police station, where a case of fraud was registered," read the statement.
Eskom said that an amount of R25 000 was also handed in at the police station. The criminal case was then transferred to Kriel police station.
The statement further pointed out that another payment of R25 000 was made to the same recipient around March 2023 and was also handed in to the police as evidence.
"In a latest development, the whistle-blower informed Eskom that a third payment will take place on Thursday, July 20, 2023. Eskom alerted the police of the pending exchange of money. The accused, who is employed as a project coordinator at Kriel Power Station, was arrested and taken to Kriel police station for processing," added the statement.
The statement said that a new case of corruption had been registered and that the employee had been charged accordingly.
"A search was conducted at the accused’s house in eMalahleni, where an amount of R16 600 was seized by the police.
The accused appeared at the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday, July 24, and was released on bail.
“The arrest of all the role players in this matter is imminent," read the statement.