The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has taken legal aim at State-owned power utility Eskom’s suspended CFO Anoj Singh following revelations that the power utility had allegedly lied about some of the payments made to Gupta-linked firm Trillian.
Outa COO Ben Theron on Tuesday said charges of corruption and financial misconduct were laid against Singh at the Randburg police station, with an affidavit delivered by Outa head of legal affairs advocate Stefanie Fick outlining the case.
“Much of the case arises from the investigation by advocate Geoff Budlender, who was appointed by Tokyo Sexwale, the then-chairperson of the Trillian business group, to investigate Trillian over allegations of its use of inside political knowledge for commercial gain and links to the Guptas and their businesses,” Theron explained.
The Budlender report and the emails are said to contain evidence of conduct by Singh that indicated corruption and breaches of the Public Finance Management Act and the Companies Act, Fick explained.
The allegations aimed at Singh, who was suspended in July, included the authorisation of the alleged payments of hundreds of millions of rands to Trillian as an alleged subcontractor to McKinsey, which in turn was contracted to Eskom.
Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown at the time had denied the reports of any contracts with or payments to Trillian.
“The Budlender investigation notes that Singh authorised at least three substantial payments totalling R266-million to Trillian in April and August 2016, which did not go through Eskom’s books; a fourth payment in December 2016 was later reported on by AmaBhungane. The four payments together were about R419-million,” Outa highlighted.
Meanwhile, Eskom’s board announced plans to meet on Tuesday to resolve the issues surrounding McKinsey, Trillian and other “topical issues”.
“The main objective of the meeting is to find a lasting solution to stem the negative coverage in order to begin a journey to carve out a path towards brand restoration,” explained Eskom acting chairperson Zethembe Khoza.
The utility said it would issue a more detailed statement after the meeting to outline certain actions and/or decisions.