EOH says it stepped up for SIU probe into govt tenders

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The SIU is going to probe four contracts awarded by the department of water and sanitation to EOH.
The SIU is going to probe four contracts awarded by the department of water and sanitation to EOH.
  • EOH says an upcoming probe into four contracts it was awarded was in response to wrongdoing involving former employees it reported to the SIU.
  • The department of water and sanitation contracts in question were awarded between 2012 and 2017.
  • EOH says it has proactively reported wrongdoing involving its former employees to authorities.

Technology company EOH has thrown its weight behind a probe by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into four government contracts it was awarded worth R474 million.

The SIU said on Thursday that it would launch an investigation into the tenders that were issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation. SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said the investigation would focus on information technology contracts that were awarded by the department to EOH and its subsidiaries between 2012 and 2017.

The company, which is one of South Africa's largest technology firms, said the probe was in response to wrongdoing involving former employees brought by it to the attention of the SIU.  

It said it was necessary for the SIU to be mandated to investigate the contracts, in order for the company to compensate the department.

"EOH has not only cooperated fully with the SIU to bring this matter to a conclusion, but has proactively sought to reimburse the department for wrongdoing involving former employees identified in the EOH forensic investigation," said Fatima Newman, EOH Group chief risk officer.

"EOH has not only reported wrongdoing by the old EOH management, but has initiated action to recover losses caused by the perpetrators of wrongdoing."

The Department of Water and Sanitation's Forensic Audit unit concluded 42 investigations during the 2019/20 financial year. In 2019, meanwhile, EOH asked law firm ENSafrica to conduct a probe into contracts awarded to the company with the intention of identifying criminal conduct in their acquisition.

The probe zoned in on R1.2 billion in "suspicious transactions" by EOH subsidiaries. 

Newman said EOH had, since the ENSafrica forensics investigation "proactively reported wrongdoing to the authorities" and had, prior to engaging in settlement negotiations with the SIU, on 31 May 2019, reported wrongdoing to National Treasury and proposed compensating the state for identified irregularities regarding Department of Defence and Department of Water and Sanitation contracts. 

As part of an attempt to clean up its tainted image and recoup monies lost to corruption, EOH recently launched a R6.4 billion civil claim against its former executives, including former CEO Asher Bohbot.

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