New leaked documents seen by the Sunday Times show how a Gupta-linked company purchased an auditing firm so it could loot Eskom.
The report stated that Trillian bought an auditing firm – Nkonki – which had contracts with Eskom so it could be “looted with impunity”.
“Trillian and its former owner, Salim Essa, allegedly used Mitesh Patel, a minority shareholder in the black-owned Nkonki auditing firm, as a front,” stated the report.
Nkonki had auditing contracts with Transnet and Eskom, and after it was bought by Trillian it secured several new contracts with Eskom.
The report added that this happened at a time when several “Gupta supporters” were on Eskom’s board.
The purchase of the auditing firm, and it securing contracts with state entities, was part of the Guptas’ plan to capture SOEs.
Looting at Eskom
Looting at Eskom has reached biblical proportions in recent years, with reports stating that the total amount stolen could reach R500 billion.
The Special Investigating Unit is currently looking into the theft of R170 billion from Eskom – R139 billion of which is related to 11 contractors who helped build the Medupi, Kusile, and Ingula power plants.
With Eskom’s Medupi, Kusile, and Ingula plants costing R334 billion to build, the R139 billion stolen by contractors makes up a large chunk of the total price tag.
The SIU said as part of its investigation it has identified 1,980 employees who failed to declare their interests to Eskom.
State capture and looting at Eskom have resulted in the company not being able to deliver a stable power supply to South Africa.
In December 2018, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said that a lack of skills at Eskom, problems with coal supply systems, and problems with the power generation system were major issues the utility faced.
He added that Eskom was one of the institutions heavily affected by state capture and contracts being awarded to the Gupta family.
“Today we feel the effect of state capture, and the reality that we have very old power stations that we are operating,” said Gordhan.
The effects of this are being felt by South Africans this week, with Eskom implementing stage 2, 3, and 4 load-shedding.
On Saturday and Sunday, stage 4 load-shedding has been put in place. This has been attributed to a loss of power imports from Mozambique and the need to conserve diesel and water supplies for the week ahead.