A contracted Eskom employee has been arrested at the utility’s Matla Power Station for fraud and corruption worth millions of rands involving a bogus supplier.
The Eskom employee was handcuffed by the South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) on Friday.
Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokoena said the arrest is in connection with “prior transgressions” committed while the suspect was employed by Eskom in the capacity of Senior Buyer at the Arnot Power Station in 2014.
“The arrest follows allegations that the supplier was awarded an order for the supply of Bowl Pumps and received a down payment of R14.7 million upfront without goods being delivered.
“Eskom had to place an urgent order for the material with another company, suffering financial loss as a consequence. An internal Eskom investigation found that the employee facilitated the payment without authorisation and resigned soon thereafter,” Moekoena said.
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No track record
She said the investigation also found that the supplier which is no longer operational, had no track record in dealing with Eskom nor had any previous orders.
“Several misrepresentations and irregularities that appear to indicate that the employee’s involvement amounted to fraud and corruption were uncovered. Subsequently, a criminal case was registered following the investigation.”
Mokoena said the employee has been remanded in custody for a formal bail application on Wednesday 22 March 2023.
Meanwhile, South Africans have been granted some reprieve after the crumbling parastatal announced a reduction in load shedding.
Mokoena said there was some “recovery in generation capacity” over the past 48 hours and lower expected demand.
“Load shedding will be reduced to Stage 1 from 5am on Saturday until 4pm. Thereafter, load shedding will be increased to Stage 2 until 5am on Sunday.
“Load shedding will be suspended on Sunday between 5am and 4pm. Thereafter, Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm on Sunday until 4pm on Monday. Stage 2 load shedding will be in force from 4pm on Monday until 5am on Tuesday. Load shedding will then again be suspended from 5am on Tuesday until 4pm, thereafter Stage 2 will be implemented until further notice,” Mokoena said.
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