Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit have initiated steps to recoup funds from former executives allegedly lost to state capture corruption.
The electricity utility said in a statement it applied for a summons on Monday in the high court in Pretoria to recover funds from former Eskom executives, board members, members of the Gupta family and their associates.
“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.”
Other defendants are businessman Salim Essa and brothers Rajesh Tony Gupta, Atul Gupta and Ajay Gupta.
“This delictual claim for damages that Eskom suffered relates to the recovery of about R3.8bn 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,” Eskom and the SIU said in a joint statement.
They said a further delictual claim for damages pertained to the payments unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom executives.
“These 12 defendants [are alleged to have] 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 R3.8bn in losses which it is legally obliged and morally burdened to recover, together with the interest thereon.”
Eskom and the SIU said they reserved the right to pursue other individuals and entities, or to join others to this action.
“As previously stated, Eskom continues to review major contracts concluded over the years, and where any evidence of corruption or other irregularities have been discovered.
“Eskom has a moral and legal duty to cancel those contracts, and to recoup any losses it may have suffered as a result of any illegal or irregular activity.”