Eskom SIU

Photo: Flickr

SIU: Over 5 000 Eskom officials facing disciplinary action

Eskom and its coffers has long been considered a hotbed for corruption and fraud

Eskom SIU

Photo: Flickr

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has painted a bleak picture of dubious dealings at Eskom – implicating more than 5 000 employees at the power utility, in possible wrongdoing.

The SIU appeared before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday, 14 October 2020, detailing allegations of corruption, fraud, mismanagement at other irregularities.

The SIU’s lead investigator at Eskom, Claudia O’Brien said they had identified 324 officials at the utility, who are linked to entities that are Eskom vendors. She said 135 of these were found to have conducted business with Eskom, to the value of at least R6 billion.

“…We have made 5 512 referrals to Eskom to institute disciplinary proceedings,” she said.

“Sixty of these referrals are in respect of officials, who are either doing business with Eskom or who failed to declare their interests in outside business entities.”

O’Brien said they had also conducted lifestyle audits and that 34 officials were referred to the SIU for further investigation.

“So far, we have referred eight of these officials for disciplinary proceedings and seven officials have resigned. In the appropriate instances, we will still proceed with referrals to the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority], while 19 investigations are still ongoing,” she added.

Eskom officials arrested

Scopa also heard how at least four people were handcuffed in relation to more than R44 million which was channelled from Eskom’s contractors, through sub-contracted companies.

Investigators were the first to smell a rat after detecting suspicious payments which were made to four officials at the power utility. The payments totaled R136 million and were paid by the four contractors to two sub-contractors, who in turn paid R44.4 million to the employees.

SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi has vowed to get to the bottom of the rot at Eskom.

“We are really heartened to see these kinds of outcomes. We believe that if all of these are actioned as we intend to, we will send the appropriate message,” Mothibi said.

“We will send a message that [will deter] those who may still be… planning to do nefarious acts, and we would like to root those out.”

O’Brien said seven cases have been referred to the NPA for officials found to be doing business with Eskom, while eight are in the process of being prepared for referral.