A former Eskom employee turned contractor was arrested this past week for making an unauthorised R14.7 million payment from the utility’s accounts to a dubious supplier that never delivered the order.
The suspect was working at the Matla Power Station at the time of his arrest on Friday, 17 March 2023.
He is alleged to have made the downpayment to the company for the supply of bowl pumps, while stationed as an Eskom senior buyer at the Arnot Power Station in 2014.
After it failed to deliver the goods, Eskom was forced to place an urgent order for the material with another company, suffering financial loss as a consequence.
Eskom then launched an internal investigation that found the employee facilitated the payment without authorisation and resigned soon thereafter.
“The investigation also found that the supplier in question, which is no longer operational, had no track record in dealing with Eskom nor had any previous orders,” the utility said.
“Several misrepresentations and irregularities that appear to indicate that the employee’s involvement amounted to fraud and corruption were uncovered.”
Eskom laid a criminal case against the employee following the investigation.
It took the police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) roughly three years to apprehend the suspect.
“We are grateful to the DPCI that the long arm of the law finally caught up with the suspect,” said Eskom acting manager for forensics and anti-corruption, Amos Phoshoko.
“The arrest of the employee, having left the employ of Eskom, is an encouraging step in our persistent efforts in the fight against fraud and corruption.”
“It will serve as a deterrent to would-be criminals who thought they could get away with crime by merely resigning from the organisation.”
The employee will remain in custody until their bail application his heard on Wednesday, 22 March 2023.