Eskom seeks contempt of court order against Trillian for its failure to pay the power utility - report

2020-01-27 09:09
Eskom's new CEO, André de Ruyter (PHOTO: Deon Raath)

Eskom's new CEO, André de Ruyter (PHOTO: Deon Raath)

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Eskom has gone to court to ask for a contempt of court order against state capture-linked Trillian Management Consulting, which has allegedly failed to pay back a cent of the money it owes the power utility, Daily Maverick reported.

In June 2019, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered Trillian to pay back nearly R600m that Eskom irregularly paid the financial advisory firm for services that were never rendered, according to the Mail & Guardian.

Trillian was reportedly established by Eric Wood and Gupta acolyte Salim Essa. It acted as a supposed empowerment partner to consultancy firm McKinsey, contracted by Eskom to develop a turnaround plan for the struggling state-owned enterprise.

amaBhungane and Scorpio reported in 2017 that Eskom paid McKinsey more than R1bn for six months' worth of work, which Eskom later said was unlawful and invalid.

But Trillian was paid nearly R600m in fees even after the McKinsey contract ended, allegedly without a legal contract with Eskom in place.

'What happened to R600m'

In terms of the court order, Trillian should have paid back the money by October 9 last year, but it has allegedly failed to do so.

Now, Daily Maverick has reported Eskom also wants Wood to be fined R1m or face 30 days in prison for Trillian's failure to comply with the court order. Eskom has now reportedly asked the court to liquidate the firm if Trillian and Wood cannot pay up.

Trillian's other creditors reportedly include Transnet.

Eskom's new CEO, André de Ruyter, has reportedly said in court papers that if Trillian is too broke to pay Eskom, "it begs the question as to what happened to the R600m that Eskom unlawfully paid Trillian".

The application is set down for early February. Trillian's legal representative told Daily Maverick that the firm would oppose Eskom's application, as it was "not legally competent".

 - Compiled by Sarah Evans

Read more on:    trillian  |  eskom  |  salim essa  |  state capture  |  corruption  |  governance
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