Ex-Eskom ex­ec­u­tive shrugs off sum­monses

Cape Argus - - METRO - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

FOR­MER Eskom ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko has shrugged off the lit­i­ga­tion in­sti­tuted by Eskom and the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit (SIU) to re­coup from the util­ity’s for­mer ex­ec­u­tives, board mem­bers, Gupta fam­ily and as­so­ciates the R3.8bil­lion lost to state cap­ture cor­rup­tion.

Koko yes­ter­day took to so­cial me­dia say­ing the sum­monses by Eskom and the SIU were a “hor­rific blun­der and bad pub­lic­ity”.

He said he was re­minded of sim­i­lar sum­monses he re­ceived from busi­ness­woman Magda Wierzy­cka and the He­len Suz­man Foun­da­tion in Novem­ber 2017 which came to noth­ing.

“The lat­est sum­monses by @ Eskom_SA and the SIU will also come to nought,” Koko said, adding that the 2017 sum­mons had noth­ing to show.

The two en­ti­ties an­nounced that they is­sued the sum­mons in the North Gaut­eng High Court to re­cover funds spent on the ac­qui­si­tion of the con­tro­ver­sial Op­ti­mum Coal Hold­ings and pay­ments made to Tril­lian by Eskom ex­ec­u­tives.

“The funds were lost in a con­certed ef­fort cor­ruptly to di­vert fi­nan­cial re­sources from Eskom, to im­prop­erly and il­le­gally ben­e­fit the Gupta fam­ily and en­ti­ties con­trolled by the said fam­ily and their as­so­ciates dur­ing their 2015-16 ac­qui­si­tion of the op­er­a­tions of Op­ti­mum Coal Hold­ings Limited (OCH),” they said.

SIU spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago said the cor­rup­tion-bust­ing body had been con­duct­ing a lot of in­ves­ti­ga­tion into con­tracts at Eskom since 2018.

“This is but one of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions we have been con­duct­ing and be­cause of ev­i­dence we gath­ered, we are now re­cov­er­ing the monies from these in­di­vid­u­als,” Kganyago said.

For­mer Eskom chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Molefe, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Anoj Singh, for­mer group ex­ec­u­tive for gen­er­a­tion Mat­shela Moses Koko and for­mer com­pany sec­re­tary and head of le­gal ser­vice Suzanne Mar­garet Daniels are named as de­fen­dants.

Oth­ers in­clude for­mer board chair­per­son Ben Ngubane, for­mer board mem­ber Ch­wayita Mabude and for­mer board mem­ber Mark Vi­vian Pa­men­sky. Also on the list of de­fen­dants are for­mer min­eral re­sources min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane, busi­ness­man Salim Aziz Essa, and Gupta fam­ily mem­bers Ra­jesh Tony Gupta, Atul Gupta and Ajay Gupta.

Kganyago said that now that pa­pers were is­sued, the court case would get un­der way with those cited as re­spon­dents.

Ac­cord­ing to Eskom and the SIU, the claim for dam­ages re­lated to the re­cov­ery of about R3.8 bil­lion il­le­gally di­verted from Eskom to help the Gupta fam­ily and its as­so­ciates ac­quire the op­er­a­tions of OCH, which owned the Op­ti­mum Coal Min­ing (Pty) Ltd that sup­plied the Hen­d­rina power sta­tion with coal.

“The fur­ther delict­ual claim for dam­ages per­tains to the pay­ments that were un­law­fully made to Tril­lian by Eskom ex­ec­u­tives.”

Eskom and the SIU said they re­served the right to pur­sue other in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties or to join oth­ers to this ac­tion.

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