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SIU on a mission to recover Eskom's lost R7.9 billion

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), determined to recover funds lost by the electricity public utility, Eskom, says that the value of contracts presented in civil courts up to this point is a staggering R7.9 billion. These stern judicial efforts encompass eight cases involving Eskom-associated contracts. SIU instigated these cases to nullify the contracts and recover lost funds, confesses the unit’s head, Andy Mothibi.

Despite the intimidating figures, Mothibi assures that results are forthcoming. From the R10.2 billion worth of contracts strategically neutralised, the SIU claimed back a tangible R1.5 billion. Among other successes, the unit referred 5671 cases to Eskom for disciplinary consequences against employees who neglected to declare their business undertakings with the utility.

Mothibi highlights the unit's successes outside court: "As part of our investigation, we commendably ensured that employees faced disciplinary hearings and those guilty of criminal activity were handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority.”

Significantly, the arrest of nine people over coal theft and fraud at the Kusile power station marked a paramount breakthrough in the ongoing investigation, earning praise from energy experts. The suspects, consisting of eight weighbridge operators and a coal driver, were detained just last week.

Mothibi is optimistic about the impact of these decisive arrests: “This is genuinely pleasing; our investigations are starting to bear fruit... We are doing this not just to ensure recovery but more importantly, that the guilty face consequences."

However, the recovery efforts are far from over. Mothibi hints at the insidious, organised nature of graft within Eskom, pointing to rampant collusion and manipulation of business processes. Former CEO Andre de Ruyter's book underlines the serious weighbridge manipulations leading to critical losses for Eskom.

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