Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
1 Jun 2021
1:12 pm

Eskom Kusile corruption case postponed

Thapelo Lekabe

The Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court gave former Eskom contracts manager France Hlakudi time to consult his new attorney.

Lawyers for the former Eskom executives in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court earlier this year. Picture: NPA

The fraud and corruption case against two former Eskom executives and their three co-accused on Tuesday was postponed to 20 July 2021.

The Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court gave former Eskom capital contracts manager France Hlakudi time to consult his new attorney after his previous lawyer withdrew from the case.

Hlakudi, Abram Masango, businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana, and Tubular Construction CEO Antonio Trindade made a brief appearance in court.

Their charge sheets include fraud, corruption, money laundering, offering unauthorised gratuities and receiving unauthorised gratuities in the multibillion-rand Kusile power plant project.

Last year, the Specialised Investigating Unit (SIU) began probing companies alleged to have received overpayments amounting to R4 billion during the plant’s construction. It was alleged Masango, Hlakudi, Kgomoeswana and Trindade committed these offences from 2014 to 2017.

Former Tubular holdings advisor Michael Lomas was not in court as he is still in the UK. He is expected to appear in the London Westminster Magistrates Court from 20 to 21 December 2021 for his extradition trial.

This after the NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) brought an extradition application through the UK central authorities to invoke the European Convention on Extradition 1957 and the UN Convention against Corruption 2003 to assist in bringing Lomas back to South Africa.

Lomas made a brief second appearance in the London court last week following his arrest in April. He was granted bail of R1.7 million and surety in the sum of about R4.3 million, among other stringent bail conditions.

The ID received a forfeiture freezing order of R1.4 billion against the accused in May this year.

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