Eskom board stifled Trillian probe, says G9

File: A whistleblower alleged that a Trillian invoice of R152.6-million was paid by Eskom in one day instead of the normal 30 days. Photo: Google Maps

CAPE TOWN - The former Eskom board tender committee was guilty of transgressing the Public Finance Management Act in the payments of about R600-million to Trillian Capital Partners, G9 Forensics MD Rajie Murugan said in Parliament on Tuesday.

G9 conducted an inquiry in 2017 into the transactions between Eskom and Trillian. Its investigation was prematurely terminated with the connivance, Murugan said, of former Eskom chairman Zethembe Khoza. This was after it became clear that the board tender committee would be investigated.

Murugan blamed the board tender committee for the “mess” of the Trillian payments and believed there was prima facie evidence that one or more Trillian directors were guilty of possible criminal conduct, fraud and money laundering.

He told the parliamentary public enterprises committee, which is conducting an inquiry into state capture, that he had submitted an affidavit to the Hawks in support of a criminal investigation into those involved in Eskom’s dealings with Trillian, which he said should proceed “without any further delay”.

Former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh also had a case to answer in relation to the transactions.

READ: Saftu applauds McKinsey and Trillian asset freeze

G9 was appointed by Eskom’s anti-corruption and forensic unit after a whistleblower alleged that a Trillian invoice of R152.6-million was paid by Eskom in one day instead of the normal 30 days. The G9 investigation uncovered that Eskom paid the invoice without a contract and without proper supporting documentation.

Murugan said the G9 investigation — which lasted six weeks — pointed towards possible corruption, money laundering and racketeering in relation to Eskom’s dealings with global consultancy firm McKinsey and its partner Trillian.

Procurement policies and procedures had been ignored as the work was not put out to tender. G9 also objected to the remuneration model proposed by McKinsey as being contrary to Treasury regulations.

The contract with McKinsey did not go through the proper legal and financial approval procedures within Eskom and went ahead despite opposition from its finance and legal divisions.

He said the G9 investigation was “vigorously and deliberately stifled” by Khoza and the board. Trillian management had also attempted to obstruct the investigation, he said.

“We believe that our mandate was terminated because we made clear our intentions to investigate the board tender committee.”

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