The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is considering suing the formerly Gupta-owned mining group Tegeta Exploration and Resources for the funds already paid over to it in the now invalidated coal contract with Eskom.
On Friday, the SIU secured a high court order setting aside the R3, 7 billion contract. The agreement was signed in 2015 to supply coal for ten years to the Majuba power station. The court has found the contract to be unlawful and invalid. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the court also gave the unit permission to go after Tegeta, even though it is under voluntary business rescue.
“At the moment we cannot say there is money that can be recouped, but what we know is that Tegeta has been paid so far because this is a 10-year contract that started in 2015. It was supposed to end in 2025, therefore they’ve been paid so far an amount of R1,25 billion. The other money has not been paid obviously which is the savings we are getting for Eskom on those remaining which is about R2, 5 billion.”
Eskom says it will ensure that the funds lost to corrupt contracts are recovered. The power utility says the termination of the contract will not affect the supply of coal at its Majuba power station.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the court order also granted the SIU leave to institute legal proceedings against Tegeta.
“We will comply with the court order and we will assist the courts and law enforcement agencies to deal with state capture and its consequences. So, we welcome this court judgment and we assure the people of South Africa that Eskom will continue with its services,” says Mantshantsha.