Where’s R600m paid to Trillian?
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.”