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More trouble for Guptas over claims of fraudulent BEE certificates

The DA says it has evidence that fraudulent certificates were used by Gupta-linked businesses to secure supplier contracts with Eskom.

Atul Gupta. Picture: Atul Gupta Kumar/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will be laying a complaint at the triple-BBE commissioner's office next week about possible fraudulent certificates used by Gupta-linked businesses to secure supplier contracts with Eskom.

The opposition party says it has evidence to support these claims.

It says the willingness of Eskom managers to blindly accept the BBE documents may constitute criminal behaviour and must be urgently investigated.

DA shadow deputy minister of trade and industry Dean Macpherson says: “On Monday I’ll be meeting with the BEE commissioner, Ms Zodwa Ntuli, to formally hand over the documentation I’ve obtained through a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) application to Eskom, which found in all likelihood that the BEE certificates submitted for Optimum, Tegeta and Trillian was fake.”

The embattled power utility is at the centre of state capture with several disgraced senior officials resigning, as the company was preparing to hold hearings into their conduct.

On Thursday, former interim CEO Sean Maritz stepped down, rendering his disciplinary hearing null and void.

DOWNGRADE

Earlier this week, Standard and Poor's Global Ratings downgraded the credit rating for Eskom to CCC+ from B-.

The ratings agency cited liquidity concerns and insufficient government support.

Eskom responded in a statement after the downgrade.

Phakamani Hadebe, Eskom interim group chief executive, said: “Eskom notes the decision by S&P to downgrade the credit rating as largely based on the strain on our liquidity levels. We have been and continue to be in extensive engagements with key stakeholders to resolve Eskom’s current governance related and liquidity issues.

“Further, we have demonstrated visible actions that have been implemented to turn this company around. We are comfortable that government has provided Eskom with tangible support to ensure that Eskom’s governance related and liquidity challenges are expediently resolved.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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