Investigation into Eskom is ‘very thorough’, says SIU head

From left, Public Works acting director general Imtiaz Fazel, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and Special Investigations Unit head Andy Mothibi at a briefing in Pretoria, 19 July 2018. Picture: ANA

He added when the SIU’s investigators uncovered evidence against executives, they referred it to the Eskom board for action.

Apart from the summons to recover R3.8 billion from former executives and board members, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) also referred evidence of criminal wrongdoing to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said SIU head Andy Mothibi.

He participated in a webinar hosted by Biznews and moderated by Tim Modise on Thursday, with fellow panellists NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema and Selby Makgotho who is the spokesperson of the Special Tribunal.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently tasked the SIU with investigating Covid-19-related corruption, and earlier this week, it issued summons to recover as much as R3.8 billion from former executives, board members and members of the Gupta family and their associates, together with state-owned power utility Eskom.

Mothibi said the investigation into Eskom started in 2018, adding: “That investigation has been very thorough.”

He added when the SIU’s investigators uncovered evidence against executives, they referred it to the Eskom board for action.

“Some have resigned in the face of these referrals.”

Wrongdoing

Furthermore, when the SIU does find evidence of criminal wrongdoing, it refers it to the NPA.

“Our colleagues at the NPA are geared to deal with that. Another step available to them is civil litigation, and this is what they have done in taking the former Eskom executives and board members to court to recover the funds.”

On Covid-19-related corruption, Mothibi said the SIU was investigating 167 cases in the Gauteng Department of Health alone. Initially, this figure stood at 91, but it has gone up as investigators uncover more cases.

The cases the SIU is investigating in the Eastern Cape include the controversial scooter programme and a door-to-door awareness campaign, while another one involves the procurement of overpriced blankets in KwaZulu-Natal.

“There are quite a number of contracts we’re looking at,” said Mothibi.

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