Cape Town - One of the first investigations Eskom’s new board will undertake is why the power utility’s previous board wrote a letter to global consultancy McKinsey stating that a controversial R1bn payment was lawful, despite previously saying the opposite.
As first reported in Business Day on Thursday morning, Eskom’s former board in January wrote to McKinsey to say controversial payments it had received from Eskom were above board.
The National Prosecuting Authority, however, has described the payments as unlawful in a founding affidavit.
Eskom’s new board was announced over the weekend. According to the power utility’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe, one of its first orders of business will be to investigate the previous board's apparent U-turn.
"[The new letter] effectively meant that the old board saw no wrongdoing in the payments that were made to both McKinsey and Trillian," he said.
The letter was written on January 16.
Complicating matters further is that Eskom’s previous board said in the January letter that it still wanted McKinsey to pay back the money.
Phasiwe said Eskom’s new board, which is chaired by businessman Jabu Mabuza, was not aware of the letter written on January 16.
The new board would now investigate what caused the previous board to change its mind, he said.
Phasiwe said it is too soon to say when the investigation will be complete, but expects Eskom to provide an update on the matter by mid-February.
McKinsey did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The consultancy has previously said it is ready to pay back the money.