Former ex­ec­u­tive spills the beans on Tril­lian

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Bianca Ca­pa­zo­rio

AN­OTHER former chief ex­ec­u­tive in the Tril­lian group has tes­ti­fied how‚ de­spite not hav­ing any em­ploy­ees or work ex­pe­ri­ence‚ the com­pany pitched for gov­ern­ment busi­ness with the Department of Co-operative Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (Cogta) and billed Eskom R30-mil­lion for work it did not do.

Bianca Good­son‚ the CEO of Tril­lian Man­age­ment Con­sult­ing‚ a sub­sidiary of Tril­lian, from Jan­uary to April 2016‚ tes­ti­fied in the Pub­lic En­ter­prises com­mit­tee’s in- quiry into state cap­ture yesterday. She told the com­mit­tee: “I was a spoke in a very big wheel. I don’t know what the rest of the wheel was do­ing‚ but I know what the spoke was do­ing.”

Good­son tes­ti­fied how‚ dur­ing her short stint at the com­pany‚ she had re­alised she had been sold a lie when she joined the com­pany.

“I be­lieve I was bla­tantly lied to that Tril­lian would be a lead­ing‚ black-owned‚ proudly South African man­age­ment com­pany.

“My opin­ion is that it was es­tab­lished sim­ply to get 50% of rev­enues with­out do- ing much work.” Good­son said she had ar­rived at Tril­lian when con­tracts with Eskom and Transnet were al­ready in place.

At the time‚ Tril­lian Man­age­ment Con­sult­ing had only two em­ploy­ees, her­self and a chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer.

In her first month, she met the newly in­stalled Cogta min­is­ter‚ Des van Rooyen.

She was asked to com­pile a pre­sen­ta­tion for the min­is­ter but‚ with just two em­ploy­ees‚ no work his­tory and no real com­pany pro­file‚ her pre­sen­ta­tion fea­tured just six slides and was “so generic“. Yet the min­is­ter had seemed pleased‚ she said‚ and a few days later the com­pany had started putting to­gether a pro­posal to work with the department.

Good­son said the com­pany had never con­tracted di­rectly with state-owned en­ti­ties; in­stead‚ it would be the sup­ply devel­op­ment part­ner in agree­ments be­tween one of the state-owned en­ti­ties and a ma­jor con­sult­ing firm.

At Eskom‚ the part­ner was McKin­sey‚ while for the Cogta pro­posal‚ the Dubai firm Oliver Wy­man was in­volved.

In Fe­bru­ary 2016‚ Good­son saw an in­voice from Tril­lian Man­age­ment Con­sult­ing‚ ap- par­ently for draw­ing up a cor­po­rate plan for Eskom.

It to­talled R30.6-mil­lion and had a cov­er­ing let­ter‚ ap­par­ently writ­ten and signed by her.

But‚ she said‚ “we were just two em­ploy­ees at that time.

“We didn’t do bill­able work. When I saw that in­voice‚ I had no idea what it was for”.

She re­signed on March 19 2016 af­ter hav­ing been asked to set up a Bank of Bar­oda ac­count.

“I felt like they were ask­ing me to do things that were not nec­es­sar­ily right,” she said yesterday.


FEED­ING TIME: Wells Es­tate beach has been tem­po­rar­ily closed due to sharks feed­ing on a washed-up whale car­cass, which the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is in the process of re­mov­ing. Great Whites were at­tracted to the car­cass while still out at sea

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