TWO former senior managers of South African power utility Eskom have been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption, the South African Police Service (SAPS) revealed on Thursday.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the arrests to local media, saying that the crimes related to matters at the troubled Kusile power plant. He said the alleged fraud and corruption at the power station was to the value of about $50 million.
Eskom announced earlier this year that its coal-fired Kusile and Medupi power stations were experiencing defects which would take two years to fix. The construction of Kusile is five years past its original completion.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan recently announced that a forensic probe was underway to examine the work of some contractors working on Kusile and Medupi power stations.
He said Kusile and Medupi’s three units should be producing 780MW, but they were not – those are serious issues, and added that some contractors’ work at the two power stations was ‘falling short of design and quality.’
A multi-disciplinary task force has been established to investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s claims of sabotage at Eskom that led to last week’s unprecedented Stage 6 load shedding.
This comes after Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa had directed the police and the State Security Agency (SSA) to take the allegations of sabotage forward.
Police earlier this week confirmed that a multi-disciplinary task force was investigating the alleged sabotage and tampering, damaging or destroying of electrical network infrastructure at Eskom.