Eskom Takes on Former Execs, Ex-Minister and Guptas to Recoup R3.8 Billion

Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit today issued a summons in the North Gauteng High Court to recover R3.8 billion, lost to state capture, from former Eskom executives including Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh, former cabinet minister Mosebenzi Zwane, former board members, members of the Gupta family and others.

Optimum Coal Mine recently. Photo: Twitter.

“The funds were lost in a concerted effort corruptly to divert financial resources from Eskom, to improperly and illegally benefit the Gupta family and entities controlled by the said family and their associates during their 2015-16 acquisition of the operations of Optimum Coal Holdings Limited (OCH),” Eskom said in a statement.

The defendants are former Eskom employees Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh, Matshela Moses Koko and legal head Suzanne Margaret Daniels. Eskom also is seeking damages against non-executive directors Ben Ngubane, Chwayita Mabude, Mark Pamensky, former cabinet minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Salim Essa, Rajesh Tony Gupta, Atul Gupta and Ajay Gupta.

“This delictual claim for damages that Eskom suffered relates to the recovery of approximately R3.8 billion in funds illegally diverted from Eskom to help the Gupta family and its associates to acquire the operations of OCH, which owned the Optimum Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd that supplied the Hendrina power station with coal. The further delictual claim for damages pertains to the payments that were unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom executives.

“All of the former executives and Board members breached their fiduciary duty of care and good faith to Eskom, and acted in a concerted State Capture effort with the Gupta Brothers, Mosebenzi Zwane and Salim Aziz Essa to illegally divert funds from Eskom. The Gupta Brothers owned the majority shares in entities (Oakbay Investments Limited and Fidelity Enterprises Limited) that in turn owned the majority shares in Tegeta Resources & Exploration. The Gupta Brothers are currently fugitives from justice in South Africa and are based in Dubai; as well as Salim Aziz Essa, who is also a fugitive from justice in South Africa and based in Dubai.

“These 12 defendants acted in a concerted effort whose objective was the corrupt, alternatively irregular, diversion of resources from Eskom. As a result of their actions in the acquisition of OCH during this period, Eskom suffered at least R3.8 billion in losses which it is legally obliged and morally burdened to recover, together with the interest thereon.