Eskom substation

Two Eskom contracted security guards have been arrested for stealing cables. Photo: Eskom

Eskom denies paying R4 billion to the wrong person by ‘mistake’

A viral post claims that cash-strapped Eskom paid R4 billion to the wrong person ‘by mistake’ and opted out of recovering the funds.

Eskom substation

Two Eskom contracted security guards have been arrested for stealing cables. Photo: Eskom

Eskom has responded to the outrage in relation to allegations that it had ‘mistakenly’ paid R4 billion to an individual. The ordeal was kicked off after a post was shared to the social media platform, Twitter, by ANC veteran Carl Niehaus amongst others.

The post in question highlighted the plight of student Sbongile Mani who rose to fame after being paid a large sum of money by NSFAS. Mani was accused of theft after an investigation found that she had spent a large portion of the funds which had been erroneously paid into her account by the fund. 

The post claimed that Mani had mistakenly been paid R14 million by the fund, spending R880 000 and earning herself a criminal record after being found guilty of theft. 

Eskom has slammed allegations that it paid R4 billion to the wrong person by accident. Image: Eskom

Eskom accused of paying R4 billion to wrong person ‘by mistake’

However, Eskom was drawn into the situation when the post claimed that it had mistakenly paid R4 billion to a coal supplier which it then allegedly failed to recover: 

“The second picture is of Eskom coal supplier Quinten van der Burgh, who Eskom ‘mistakenly’ paid R4 billion and the government released a statement that they couldn’t take any action to recover this R4 billion and would not pursue any arrest or court case against Quinten, the matter was closed just like that. Quinten is the youngest billionaire in South Africa through supplying coal to Eskom and Quinten has no qualifications besides matric.” 

Exerpt from social media post

Naturally, allegations of this nature involving a State-Owned Entity and an individual who supposedly became the nation’s youngest billionaire through ill-gotten means quickly gained traction. Sharing the post, Carl Niehaus weighed in with his own opinions on the matter:

“This is NOT justice …”

Carl Niehaus

Power utility firmly denies allegations

However, Eskom has since debunked the controversial allegations that it had not only botched a R4 billion payment but also failed to take any action. In a post responding to the matter, the power utility denied the allegations made against it.

“Eskom would like to distance itself from the allegations contained in the tweet. As previously addressed, there was never any R4 billion paid “by mistake” to anyone.  The CEO  has never made the comment as alleged in this tweet.”