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Eskom employee arrested on corruption charges

Eskom says one of its employees was arrested on 20 July 2023 over alleged tender irregularities at Kriel power station.

The state-owned power utility said it received a tip-off from a member of the public on 28 October 2022 about the alleged corruption.

Eskom said its forensic department conducted a thorough investigation, leading to the arrest.

The tender was for a 12-month contract to provide coal yard lighting at Kriel power station.

“The investigations revealed that after the closing date, four service providers have responded to the request for proposals,” Eskom said.

“Subsequent to all necessary evaluations, the buyer approached the key stakeholders involved in the evaluation process to request the supplier to submit another bid with inflated price, with an understanding that the difference between the original price and the new price would be shared among themselves.”

The supplier then submitted another bid with a new tender value almost double the initial amount and was appointed.

Eskom said the supplier paid those involved R25,000 each on separate occasions, with the first payment made on 21 October 2022.

“The matter was reported to Eskom’s Forensic department by one of the recipients of the money, whom the department and members of the South African Police Service Commercial Crime Unit accompanied to Boksburg North Police Station, where a case of fraud was registered,” stated Eskom.

“An amount of R25,000 was also handed in at the police station. The criminal case was then transferred to Kriel police station.”

Eskom said another payment of R25,000 was made to the same recipient around March 2023 and was also handed in to the police as evidence.

“In the latest development, the whistle-blower informed Eskom that a third payment will take place on Thursday, 20 July 2023,” Eskom said.

Eskom alerted the police of the pending exchange of money.

“The accused, who is employed as a project coordinator at Kriel Power Station, was arrested and taken to Kriel police station for processing. A new case of corruption was registered, and the employee was charged accordingly.”

Eskom said a search was conducted at the accused’s house in eMalahleni, where the police seized R16,600.

“The accused appeared at the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday, 24 July 2023, and was released on bail,” Eskom said.

It assured that the arrest of all the role players in this matter is imminent.

“Whilst most of our employees are hardworking, focusing on ensuring that they deliver on their daily job outputs and strive to do their uttermost best to improve Eskom’s performance, we are cognizant of the few who are corrupt amongst us,” the power utility said.

“The arrest of the Project Coordinator and others in the past is therefore a step in the right direction in ridding the organisation of corruption and gives impetus to Eskom’s stance of zero tolerance to crime and corruption.”

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