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SIU locks in on dodgy Eskom employees

More than 5,500 Eskom employees have been referred to the utility for disciplinary proceedings for, among other things, not declaring their financial interests or doing business with the entity.

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CAPE TOWN - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has found that 135 Eskom employees did business with the power utility to the tune of R6 billion.

It’s also uncovered R44 million in kickbacks paid to four Eskom officials by contractors involved in building the Kusile Power Station.

The extent of wrongdoing by Eskom employees was laid bare by the SIU when it updated Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts yesterday on its long-running investigations into wrongdoing at the state-owned entity.

More than 5,500 Eskom employees have been referred to the utility for disciplinary proceedings for, among other things, not declaring their financial interests or doing business with the entity.

SIU head Andy Mothibi Says he takes comfort in the 5,523 officials referred for disciplinary proceedings at Eskom, saying people have been behaving criminally, believing that nothing will happen to them.

“This is where things start to go wrong - when officials at all levels in the organisation delve into business interests which are not declared and they start either effecting overrides, interfering with procurement processes and just also turning a blind eye.”

Mothibi says the unit wants to recover more than R8 billion through civil litigation into fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing. Thirty-nine cases have been referred to the national prosecuting authority for criminal investigation, while 32 have been referred to the asset forfeiture unit.

Lead Eskom investigator at the SIU, Claudia O’ Brien, told Scopa the unit saved Eskom R400 million in one matter, relating to a claim submitted by a contractor.

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