Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) recently issued a summons to recover R3.8 billion from Eskom executives, former board members, the Gupta family, and their associates.
Eskom said the funds were lost in a concerted effort to corruptly divert financial resources from the company.
This was done to improperly and illegally benefit the Gupta family and entities controlled by them and their associates during their 2015-16 acquisition of the operations of Optimum Coal.
This claim for damages that Eskom suffered relates to the recovery of approximately R3.8 billion in funds illegally diverted from Eskom.
A further claim for damages pertains to the payments that were unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom Executives.
Eskom said all the former executives and board members breached their fiduciary duty of care and good faith to Eskom.
It said they acted in a concerted State Capture effort with the Gupta Brothers, Mosebenzi Zwane, and Salim Aziz Essa to illegally divert funds from Eskom.
AmaBhungane has obtained and published the 73-page summons, which sheds further light on the allegations against former Eskom executives and board members.
According to the summons, these executives and board members conspired with the Guptas over a six-year period to exploit state-owned entities for the latter’s benefit.
AmaBhungane highlighted that the main allegations emanate from the take-over of Optimum Coal Holdings – the struggling group of coal mines owned by Glencore.
This, the court document states, is where former government minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane allegedly played a key role.
A few of the allegations included in the legal documents and highlighted by AmaBhungane include:
- The defendants conspired to strong-arm Glencore into selling Optimum and helped to finance the acquisition through guarantees and prepayments to the Gupta-controlled buyer, Tegeta Exploration, and Resources.
- Once Tegeta was in control of Optimum, Eskom benefitted the Guptas by allowing Tegeta to under-deliver on its loss-making coal contract at Hendrina Power Station which freed up that coal to be sold at a higher price elsewhere.
- Eskom said it had to spend R2.4 billion to source coal for Hendrina from other suppliers.
- R722 million of the claim is the difference between Optimum’s historical penalty that Tegeta inherited when it bought the mine, and the settlement negotiated with the new politically connected owners.
- R595 million of the claim relates to money that Eskom tried but failed to recoup from Trillian.
For further details about the case and background to the story, view AmaBhungane’s summary here.
Who Eskom is suing
Eskom and AmaBhungane have provided a full list of people who are being sued to recover misappropriated funds.
AmaBhungane has also provided additional people who were named as part of the “conspiracy”.
Eskom and the SIU said they reserve the right to pursue other individuals and entities or to join others to this action.
Eskom said it continues to review major contracts concluded over the years, and where there is evidence of corruption or irregularities, it has a duty to cancel those contracts and recoup losses it may have suffered as a result of any illegal or irregular activity.
|Brian Molefe||Former Group CEO|
|Anoj Singh||Former CFO|
|Matshela Moses Koko||Former Group Executive: Generation and former Acting CEO|
|Suzanne Margaret Daniels||Former Company Secretary and Group Legal Head|
|Baldwin Ben Ngubane||Former Board Chairman|
|Chwayita Mabude||Former Board Member|
|Mark Vivian Pamensky||Former Board Member|
|Mosebenzi Zwane||Former Minister of Mineral Resources|
|Salim Aziz Essa||Gupta Associate|
|Rajesh Tony Gupta||Youngest Gupta Brother|
|Atul Gupta||Middle Gupta Brother|
|Ajay Gupta||Oldest Gupta Brother|
|Others Named in Court Decuments|
|Ashok Narayan||Essa Associate|
|Ashu Chawla||Gupta Associate|
|Sanjay Grover||Gupta’s Duba “fixer”|
|Iqbal Sharma||Transnet Board Member|
|Eric Wood||Regiments Capital/Trillian|
|Niven Pillay||Regiments Capital|
|Malcolm Mabaso||Zwane Advisor|
|Joel Raphela||DDG at Department of Mineral Resources|
|Clive Angel||Early Director at Trillion|
The full 73-page summons is embedded below, courtesy of AmaBhungane.