Eskom's board tender committee at the heart of Trillian payments - Murugan
The mess of Eskom's payments to Trillian Capital Partners should be left squarely at the door of the previous board tender committee of the utility‚ G9 Forensics MD Rajie Murugan said in Parliament Tuesday.
Murugan‚ who has been involved in investigating human rights violations both in South Africa and at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague‚ the Netherlands‚ made a presentation to the parliamentary inquiry into state capture which is being conducted by the portfolio committee on public hearings.
He told the committee that he had submitted an affidavit to the Hawks in support of a criminal investigation into those involved in Eskom's dealings with Trillian.
Murugan said very quickly the G9 investigation - which lasted six weeks - pointed towards possible corruption‚ money laundering and racketeering in relation to Eskom's dealings with global consultancy firm McKinsey and Trillian.
Murugan recounted to MPs the way in which the G9 investigation was terminated by the Eskom board after a briefing on its early findings to a meeting of the audit and risk committee at which board members were present. The meeting was told by G9 that it was necessary to investigate the board tender committee as it appeared they had contravened their fiduciary duties.
"To our amazement two hours later we received an email from the board to terminate our investigation and to provide our final report‚" Murugan said.
"In hindsight I probably should not have informed the board that they were potentially guilty of contravening their fiduciary duties and that as a forensic firm we had no intention to leave them out of the equation‚" he added. He had told former chairman Zethembe Khoza that the forensic team would not gloss over the conduct of the board tender committee.
"We believe that our mandate was terminated because we made clear our intentions to investigate the board tender committee‚" Murugan said.
"Put simply‚ the results and confirmation of unbridled abuse and dodgy decisions in the Trillian investigation which involved some of the former board‚ previous chief executives and some executive managers at Eskom was not palatable for Mr Z Khoza‚" Murugan said.
He suggested that Khoza could possibly be involved in the Trillian debacle by association and was derelict in his duties as chairperson of the board tender committee. Murugan believed that former CEO Johnny Dladla's support for the G9 probe was probably the main reason why he was removed.
Murugan's senior counsel Dumisa Ntsebeza told the committee that the statement by former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh that the G9 report had been withdrawn by the firm was not true.