Eskom and SIU summonses for state capture enablers welcomed

Now for other SOEs to do the same.

03/08/2020 16:04:00

Eskom and SIU summonses for state capture enablers welcomed 

  

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) welcomes the announcement that Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) issued summons against twelve individuals linked to the illegal diversion of R3,8 billion from Eskom.

“This action is long overdue, as both the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom and the Zondo Commission heard testimony on how Eskom was used to facilitate state capture. South Africans have long been frustrated by the lack of accountability in government and more specifically in our state owned enterprises (SOEs). Billions of Rands meant to improve the lives of ordinary citizens, have been looted by a few connected individuals in SOEs, and today’s news brings hope in a time when we are seeing yet another wave of plundering during the current crisis,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO.

OUTA laid criminal charges in 2017 against 9 of the 12 individuals that Eskom and the SIU are now pursuing. We also handed a detailed report of our findings and evidence brought to our attention by whistle-blowers to the Zondo Commission.  

“We have consistently been calling for leadership at SOEs to investigate and prosecute those linked to the Guptas and state capture, as it is their fiduciary duty to act against executives and others who have placed the organisation into financial difficulty and recover the money,” says adv Stefanie Fick, OUTA’s Executive Director of the Accountability Division. Consumers can’t keep on footing the bill for what happened at Eskom through continuously increasing electricity prices. The looting at Eskom took place over many  years, leading to the dire situation the utility finds itself in, and although this is a good first step, we hope the investigation goes deep to expose all the rot. We are looking forward to serious efforts to recover all lost funds and prosecute all those involved in wrongdoing.”

The organisation also called on other SOEs and government departments to follow in Eskom’s footsteps and recover looted public funds. “There are plenty of examples, but the names of Hlaudi Motsoeneng (ex-SABC COO), Tom Moyane (former commissioner of SARS) and Lucky Montana (former CEO of Prasa) are some that come to mind, as do people in Government such as Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and past ministers such as Malusi Gigabe and Lynn Brown. It is high time that these individuals get prosecuted for their role in bringing our country to its knees,” says Fick.

OUTA reiterates its commitment to the fight against corruption and tax abuse. “We don’t want history to repeat itself, and therefore we offered our help in fighting Covid-19 corruption and holding implicated individuals to account. We call on the public to share any information on Covid-19 corruption with us via our secure and anonymous whistle-blower platform. We will then hand over this information to the SIU.”

The platform can be accessed at here.