Eskom contractors arrested on R2.2 billion corruption allegations

Eskom has welcomed the arrests of two former ABB Group employees and their spouses for corruption linked to Eskom contracts involving R2.2 billion.

The four were arrested yesterday by the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority in a joint operation with the Hawks and the South African Revenue Service.

They were arrested on corruption charges for allegedly defrauding Eskom in a contract awarded to ABB in 2015.

“As a result of the influence of the suspects, ABB in turn irregularly appointed Impulse International (Pty) Ltd as a sub-contractor on a R549.6 million portion of the work,” Eskom stated.

Eskom congratulated the NPA’s Investigating Directorate on the arrests and pledged to do everything in its power to help with the investigations to bring about successful prosecutions.

“Eskom also hopes this is just the beginning and that more arrests will follow on this matter, and on the more than 100 other criminal cases lodged with the law enforcement agencies over the years,” the state-owned power utility said.

According to Eskom, former ABB employees Mohammed Mooidheen and Vernon Pillay stand accused of using their influence and cashing in on irregular gratifications estimated at R8.6 million.

These allegedly included cash and luxury vehicles from irregularly awarding a R549.6 million sub-contract to Impulse.

“Their spouses are also alleged to have benefited from the crime,” Eskom said. “This concerned work at the Kusile Power Station.”

Eskom said some assets belonging to the suspects and their spouses were seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

According to the Investigations Directorate, the suspects have been released on bail and will appear in court again on 14 October 2022.

“Eskom was one of the main crime scenes, as evidenced by the findings of the Commission of Enquiry on State Capture, and this case was one of the seminal matters on which the State Capture Report recommended prosecutions,” the power utility said.

“The law enforcement system needs to show that the time for the criminal impunity and theft that continue to rob the people of South Africa of services they have so dearly paid for is up.”

Eskom said ABB South Africa agreed in December 2020 to pay back R1.577 billion of the funds it had been irregularly paid.

This was after ABB voluntarily disclosed collusion with certain Eskom officials to irregularly award it R2.2 billion for a control and instrumentation contract for Kusile Power Station in 2015.

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Eskom contractors arrested on R2.2 billion corruption allegations