Gupta family lawyer criticises Eskom, SIU summons for R3.8bn

Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo

The summons was incomprehensible, Krause said, to the claim for damages pertaining to payments that were unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom executives.

Gupta family lawyer Rudi Krause has defended and criticised a bid by the Special Investigating Unit alongside Eskom to recoup over R3.8 billion from the family alongside former Eskom executives.

Eskom said the funds were lost in a “concerted effort to divert financial resources from Eskom to illegally benefit the Gupta family and entities controlled by the family and their associates” during their 2015-16 acquisition of Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH) Limited.

The claim for damages for Eskom relates to R3.8 billion in funds diverted from Eskom to allegedly help the Gupta family members and their associates to acquire the operations of OCH, which owned Optimum Coal Mining, that supplied the Hendrina power station with coal.

Eskom issued a summons in the High Court in Pretoria in an attempt to recover the funds, although Krause described the summons as the worst drafted legal document he’s ever seen, according to BusinessDay.

The summons was incomprehensible, Krause told the publication, to the claim for damages pertaining to payments that were unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom executives.

While Eskom labelled the defendants as former Eskom employees Brian Molefe (group chief executive officer), Anoj Singh (chief financial officer), Matshela Moses Koko (group executive: generation and former acting group chief executive officer), as well as Suzanne Margaret Daniels (company secretary and group legal head); it also sought damages against non-executive directors Baldwin Ben Ngubane (board chairman), Chwayita Mabude (board member), Mark Vivian Pamensky (board member), Mosebenzi Zwane (former government minister of mineral resources), Salim Aziz Essa, Rajesh Tony Gupta, Atul Gupta, and Ajay Gupta.

The utility said the former execs, including board members, breached their fiduciary duty of care and good faith to the utility.

They acted in a concerted state capture effort with some members of the Gupta family, including Mosebenzi Zwane and Salim Aziz Essa to illegally divert funds from Eskom.

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