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Eskom Corruption: Prosecuting Authority Says More Arrests Imminent

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that more arrests related to corruption within Eskom are likely to be finalised before the year is done.

This is according to NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke, who commented on the ongoing case following the arrest of two senior Eskom managers on Wednesday. Abram Masango and France Hlakudi, who were responsible for overseeing vital contractual agreements at the embattled Kusile Power Station in Mpumalanga, were apprehended on charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Arrests of Masango and Hlakudi, the tip of the iceberg

It’s reported that, over the past decade, Masango and Hlakudi managed to siphon approximately R745-million from the beleaguered power utility. The two former managers appeared before the Johannesburg Regional Court on Thursday, where they were both granted bail of R300 000 each. The case is expected to resume in May 2020.

Makeke, who lauded the collaborative efforts of South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), noted that other arrests relating to the wanton corruption which has crippled the power utility in recent years, are likely to be made “soon”.

The NPA spokesperson noted that investigations into other Eskom employees and subcontractors were at an advanced stage, after lead detectives uncovered “gross manipulation of contractual agreements” dating back to 2009. Makeke said of the arrests of Masango and Hlakudi:

“These are obviously not the only people implicated, but at the moment this is all the evidence that we have put together to make sure that there’s a prima facie case against them.”

Corruption at Eskom leaves South Africans in the dark

Eskom, South Africa’s most valuable and vital state-owned enterprise, has been debilitated by a corruptive rot, central to the State Capture project which is alleged to have been spearheaded by the infamous Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma.

Dodgy tender deals and exorbitant payments for services undelivered have all been hallmarks of Eskom’s demise. As a result, South Africans have been left in the dark due to protracted bouts of load shedding. According to lead economists and ratings agencies, Eskom remains the single biggest threat to South Africa’s economic prospects.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi noted that the current case of corruption, involving Masango and Hlakudi, was just the tip of the fraudulent iceberg, elaborating:

“Added to the four [Masango, Hlakudi and private business directors Antonio Jose Trindade and Hudson Kgomoeswana] there were seven other companies that were litigated, which then brings the number of people or entities that have been litigated to 11, and we can still expect more arrests in this case.”

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Written by How South Africa

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