Kusile corruption case postponed

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Kusile power station in Mpumalanga. File photo.
Kusile power station in Mpumalanga. File photo.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

The Eskom Kusile power station R745m corruption case has been postponed to allow one of the accused to consult his new lawyer.

Former Eskom managers appeared in the Palm Ridge specialised commercial crimes court on Tuesday on charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

 Former contracts manager at the power utility France Hlakudi, who changed lawyers, was afforded an opportunity to consult his new legal representative.

The matter was postponed to July 20.

Hlakudi, the number one accused is charged alongside former group executive for group capital projects Abram Masango, businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana and CEO of Tubular Construction Antonio Trindade, who scored a contract in the construction of the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.

Another accused, British citizen Michael Lomas,  will be facing an extradition trial in London in December.

The five are accused of fraud and corruption in the awarding of a R745m contract at Kusile power station, with the two former Eskom bosses accused of receiving kickbacks amounting to around R30m each for ensuring that Tubular Construction Projects (TCP) won the contract which later ballooned to R1.4bn.

The kickbacks were allegedly paid to Masango and Hlakudi between 2014 and 2017 by Tubular through Kgomoeswana and his company Babinatlou.

Several properties in five provinces, family trust funds and several bank accounts are some of the assets worth a combined R1.4bn that were seized by the state last month, pending the finalisation of the case.

UPDATE

The previous version of this article erroneously stated that Masango had changed lawyers instead of Hlakudi. This was based on information received from the Investigative Directorate.

Masango's lawyer Kameshni Naidoo from Nicqui Galaktiou has since confirmed that their client has not changed legal representatives. Sowetan apologises for the error

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