File picture: Independent Media
File picture: Independent Media

Tycoon admits to using fake invoices to swindle Eskom of R35m

By Khaya Koko Time of article published Nov 7, 2019

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The clampdown on the alleged R35 million Eskom fraud heist continued with a company director admitting in court that he had swindled the cash-strapped parastatal through bogus invoices.

On Tuesday, Victor Tshabalala, the sole director of Meagra Transportation, told the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, sitting in Palmridge, that he worked “in concert” with a former Eskom financial manager to defraud the state-owned entity by generating fraudulent invoices for work not done.

Last week, The Star reported that Bernard Moraka, a former Eskom financial controller responsible for primary energy, was alleged to have created 53 fraudulent invoices between 2016 and last year.

Moraka is accused of claiming that Tshabalala’s company had transported coal for the SOE in Mpumalanga when such work was allegedly not done.

An investigative report shows all 53 supposedly fraudulent transactions, the first of which was for R212 813 in January 2016, and the last spurious transfer was made in September last year for more than R1.7m, the largest of all payments.

Moraka, who Eskom confirmed had resigned in October last year, indicated in court that he intended pleading not guilty to all charges, but would not reveal his defence until he had received the case docket from the State.

But Tshabalala differed from Moraka, his alleged partner-in-crime, saying he would continue assisting the State by revealing how Eskom was supposedly looted.

Tshabalala’s affidavit was presented in court as part submissions he made during his bail application, which the State did not oppose.

“I do not deny that I acted in concert (to defraud the SOE), and will work with the complainant (Eskom) to recover its monies.

“It will be in the public interest and the interest of justice for the complainant to recover all its monies. I accept that the charges against me are serious,” Tshabalala said in his affidavit.

He added that his legal representatives were in negotiations with Eskom on the appropriate amount he needed to pay back and provided financial statements of his “lucrative business” to show the court that he would be able to meet his undertaking.

Tshabalala also said he had combined movable and immovable personal assets of roughly R35m, and earned a monthly net income of about R100 000.

Eskom did not detail much about the case when asked for comment, but said: “This is indeed part of the Eskom clean-up campaign as this matter is one of the priority cases tracked by Eskom.”

Both Tshabalala and Moraka will return to court later this month. 

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