R745m Kusile fraud case against former Eskom managers postponed again

5th May 2022 By: News24Wire

 R745m Kusile fraud case against former Eskom managers postponed again

The fraud and corruption case against former senior Eskom manager France Hlakudi and his co-accused was once again postponed in the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court on Thursday.

His co-accused are former Eskom group executive for the Group Capital Division, Abram Masango; businessperson Maphoko Kgomoeswana; and CEO of Tubular Construction, Antonio Trindade. A fifth accused, former Eskom contractor Michael Lomas, was arrested by British police in April last year at the request of South African authorities. He is set to face an extradition hearing.

They face charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering relating to a contract of R745-million at Eskom's Kusile power station in Mpumalanga between 2014 and 2017.

At their appearance on Thursday, the legal representatives of some of the accused indicated that they wanted to bring an application for unreasonable delay and the case was postponed to 2 and 5 August this year. 

The case has been delayed on at least two prior occasions when Hlakudi switched lawyers. This happened again on Thursday. Hlakudi's lawyer asked the court to remove him as legal representative because, he claims, Hlakudi did not honour his financial obligations nor the consultation times arranged. Hlakudi now has until 13 May to either appoint a new attorney or obtain legal aid in preparation for the hearing in August.

On 30 March this year, Hlakudi's bail of R300 000 was initially provisionally forfeited to the state when he failed to appear in court and a warrant for his arrest was issued. On 13 April he appeared in court and the warrant was discharged and the bail money reinstated. 

At that time, the matter was postponed until 5 May to allow time for all the accused to consult with their legal representatives.