New delay in Kusile fraud case after Hlakudi's second lawyer quits for 'financial reasons'

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Former Eskom manager France Hlakudi at a previous court hearing.
Former Eskom manager France Hlakudi at a previous court hearing.
Dean Vivier/Netwerk24
  • Former Eskom contracts manager France Hlakudi needs to again find a new lawyer before the state's fraud and corruption case involving the Kusile power station can proceed. 
  • The National Prosecuting Authority's Investigating Directorate says the case against Hlakudi and others has again been postponed after Hlakudi's second attorney "withdrew for financial reasons".
  • The matter will now be heard on 19 August. 

The state's case against former Eskom executives and businessmen allegedly involved in a multimillion-rand fraud scheme at Kusile power plant in Mpumalanga has again been postponed.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Investigating Directorate (ID), the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court postponed the R745 million fraud, corruption and money laundering case to 19 August to allow former Eskom contracts manager France Hlakudi to again find a new lawyer.

This is the second time the case has been postponed owing to Hlakudi's difficulties in securing legal representation. In early June, the case was postponed to allow Hlakudi to consult with a new attorney after his previous lawyer withdrew.

According to ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka, Hlakudi's second attorney has since withdrawn for unspecified "financial reasons".

In addition to Hlakudi, the other accused are former Eskom group executive for Group Capital Division, Abram Masango; businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana; and CEO of Tubular Construction, Antonio Trindade.

A fifth accused, former Eskom contractor Michael Lomas, was arrested by British police in mid-April at the request of South African authorities.

Lomas briefly appeared in court in the UK in April before being released on bail.

The ID has formally requested he be extradited to South Africa to stand trial together with his co-accused. His hearing has been set down for 20 and 21 December.

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