- The Investigating Directorate has been granted an order to seize assets worth R1.4bn belonging to accused allegedly implicated in corruption involving the Kusile power station
- The accused in the case include former Eskom senior manager for Capital Contracts France Hlakudi and former group executive for Group Capital Abram Masango
- This news comes a day after the launch of The Eskom Files, an investigation by News24’s award-winning team of investigative journalists, revealing the enormity of corruption at the state-owned power utility
The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has granted the Investigating Directorate an order to seize assets worth R1.4bn belonging to accused allegedly implicated in the corruption scandal involving the construction of Eskom's Kusile power station.
The preservation order, which was granted in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act, was served and enforced on all the accused in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo on Tuesday morning, spokesperson for the Investigating Directorate Sindisiwe Seboka told Fin24.
This news comes a day after the launch of The Eskom Files an investigation by News24’s award-winning team of investigative journalists, revealing the enormity of corruption at the state-owned power utility, including at it's Kusile plant.
The accused in the case are former Eskom senior manager for Capital Contracts France Hlakudi, the company's former group executive for Group Capital Abram Masango, former Tubular Construction Projects CEO Antonio Trindade, businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana, former Tubular Holdings Executive Advisor, Michael Lomas and six companies owned by these individuals.
The accused face charges of fraud and corruption. Kgomoeswana faces an additional charge of money laundering. They are accused of committing these offences between 2014 and 2017, and are expected back in court on 1 June.
"In addition, their spouses' assets and their family trusts were included in the restraint order," Seboka said.
"The freezing order prohibits them from dealing in any manner with any of their realizable property. The curator, Trevor Hill, who was appointed by the court in terms of the order, did an inventory of all the affected assets which have been restrained pending the outcome of the criminal trial."
Lomas, who is a UK citizen was arrested on 15 April in London.
"The process of his extradition back to South Africa started last month, and this matter will return to the London Westminster Magistrate's Court on the 20 May 2021 for case management."
Among Hlakudi's assets are 50% of a property in Moreleta Park, Pretoria, currently valued at R2.1 million and four vehicles, including a 2012 Renault Koleos and a 2017 Nissan bakkie. An amount of R1.97 million, deposited by the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund into his account in 2017, is also described as "realisable property".
Trindade's assets include five vehicles, including a 2008 Audi Q7 and a a 2019 Renault Clio, as well as two properties in Sheffield Beach, Kwa Dukuza (valued at R2.2 million) and in Fourways (R940,000). He is also director of a company that owns various other properties and assets. In total, his assets are estimated to be worth more than R18 million.
Masango, with his wife, owns a property in Emahlaleni, valued at R1.4 million and a stake in a Lichtenburg property, as well as three vehicles, including a 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser. A benefit of almost R12.4 million from the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund is also listed in the affidavit.
One of the companies targeted by the NPA, Abeyla Trading, owns ten vehicles, including a tractor, worth almost R1.5 million.
*This story has been corrected to reflect that the order was granted by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, and not Pretoria; and to reflect the full name of Abeyla Trading.