A staggering R35-million fraud case against a former Eskom financial manager has highlighted the extend of the large-scale looting at the embattled, financially-strained parastatal.
Victor Moraka will make his second appearance today on 53 fraud counts at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court, sitting in Palmridge, for allegedly siphoning off about R35m between 2016 and last year through the use of bogus invoices.
Moraka, said investigators who spoke on condition of anonymity, was the former financial controller responsible for primary energy at Eskom.
He was expected to indicate how he would plead and apply for bail today. He has been in police custody since last Tuesday after being arrested during the same week that MPs approved a bill injecting R59billion into the ailing state-owned entity’s coffers.
The Star has seen details of the alleged elaborate scheme where Moraka, who, among his responsibilities was tasked with the receiving and processing of invoices, is accused of generating 53 invoices for a company that allegedly did no work for Eskom.
Its name is known to The Star but cannot be disclosed as more arrests in the matter, which investigators said were imminent, have not been made.
An investigative report shows all 53 allegedly fraudulent transactions, the first of which was for R212813 in January 2016, and the last spurious transfer was made in September last year for more than R1.7m, the largest of all payments.
According to the investigative report, Moraka would submit invoices for payment to the company in question, claiming it had transported coal from Palesa Mine in Mpumalanga to Forfar or Clewer – coal industry towns in the same province.
“(The company in question) had never transported coal from Palesa Mine in Mpumalanga to Forfar and/or Clewer Rail Route in the same province.
“The said close corporation was never inducted to render such a service at Palesa Mine.
“They were, therefore, not entitled to claim any payments from Eskom for trips from Palesa Mine to Forfar and/or Clewer.
“The amounts were paid into the account of (the close corporation) as a result of a misrepresentation by the accused,” the report read.
The alternate charges are theft, with investigators believing that Moraka “did unlawfully and intentionally steal” monies from the entity.
The Star sent a detailed media query to Eskom’s communications department, which acknowledged receipt and indicated it would respond but had not done so at the time of publication. Last week, Parliament approved the Special Appropriations Bill that granted Eskom a R59bn bailout. This was after the SOE, which has about R400b debt, revealed it had incurred losses of at least R20bn in the last financial year.
Speaking this month, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said at a public event that it would be “a long hard struggle” to fix Eskom’s finances as “somewhere between R20bn and more were lost” to alleged corruption.