Eskom accuses Deloitte of 'pure corruption', wants R207m back

Eskom wants Deloitte to pay back more than R207m for two tenders and other work the audit firm secured “improperly” during 2016.

The utility said in a statement on Monday evening that it has issued court papers and filed an affidavit against Deloitte Consulting for the setting aside of awards of contracts and the recovery of funds amounting to more than R207m.

"We have promised South Africans that we will be pursuing all ill-gotten funds that were extracted from Eskom during the days of state capture. Eskom acting CEO Jabu Mabuza said.

He said Eskom has information that showed Eskom officials gave Deloitte off-the record briefings on proposals and that Deloitte was granted contracts even though their pricing was way above their competitors. These contracts were modified to just under the ceiling price which requires the approval of the provincial Treasury.

“Deloitte was granted contacts when their prices were five times higher than those of their competitors,” Mabuza said.

In one of the tenders, Deloitte's price was R79 million versus just under R16 million and R9 million from two competitors. In a second tender Deloitte's price was R88.8m versus R14.5m, R13.25m and R6.59m from three competitors.

"This shows pure corruption on the part of Deloitte and the Eskom executives who facilitated these contracts with absolutely no regard for Eskoms sustainability,” Mabuza said.

The affidavit further calls for the former chief financial officer, Anoj Singh and senior executive Prish Govender to pay the costs of the application. Both Singh, a former Deloitte employee, and Govender have resigned. At the Eskom inquiry last year, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told Singh that he brought Eskom “to its knees”.

A spokesperson told Fin24 that Deloitte Consulting received Eskom's court papers, but that it disagrees with and disputes the allegations made by Eskom in the media statement.  

“Deloitte Consulting has been engaging in good faith with Eskom on this matter for some time now in order to assist Eskom to understand the processes followed and the value that Deloitte Consulting has delivered to Eskom. While Deloitte Consulting is disappointed by this recent development, we welcome the opportunity to put our version and the facts of the matter before a court.”   

The article has been updated with comment from Deloitte Consulting.

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