Where’s R600m paid to Trillian?

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Ber­nade e Wicks

Eskom will have to wait longer for the al­most R600 mil­lion it’s owed by Gupta-linked Trillian Man­age­ment Con­sult­ing.

Yes­ter­day, Eskom’s ap­pli­ca­tion to have the fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory firm and its sole di­rec­tor, Eric Wood, found in con­tempt of court and or­dered to pay up was re­moved from the roll for a cu­ra­tor bo­nis, who was last week ap­pointed to man­age Trillian’s as­sets, to be joined in pro­ceed­ings.

In June, the court de­clared a se­ries of con­tentious de­ci­sions which led to Eskom pay­ing Trillian in ex­cess of R595 mil­lion “un­law­ful and in­valid”.

Trillian was or­dered to re­fund the monies, with in­ter­est, within five days. Trillian launched an ap­pli­ca­tion for leave to ap­peal the court’s rul­ing, but it was dis­missed with costs in Oc­to­ber. The same or­der saw McKin­sey, an­other firm em­broiled in the court ac­tion, di­rected to re­pay Eskom R1 bil­lion. These monies have since been re­funded.

But, Eskom said in court pa­pers, the monies owed by Trillian were still out­stand­ing. Eskom now wants Wood fined R1 mil­lion or jailed for 30 days. Eskom CEO An­dre de Ruyter said in his found­ing af­fi­davit: “As Trillian is, ac­cord­ing to Wood, not in pos­ses­sion of any cash, or liq­uid as­sets to make pay­ment to Eskom, it begs the ques­tion as to what hap­pened to the R600 mil­lion that Eskom un­law­fully paid Trillian.”

In his pa­pers be­fore the court, Wood had said it was com­mon cause that Trillian was “un­able to sat­isfy the money judg­ment”.

He pointed to a preser­va­tion or­der re­leased in 2018. “The [Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions] had in­ves­ti­gated Trillian’s bank ac­counts and it had con­cluded that Trillian was un­able to pay,” he said.

“Trillian is un­able to sat­isfy the judg­ment debt and no or­der of court com­pelling it to do so can change that fact.”

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