- An Eskom Rotek Industries (ERI) sub-contractor is among the latest employees to face the long arm of the law after he was arrested for bribery at the Camden Power Station on 11 October 2023.
The suspect’s arrest comes after he approached a coal truck driver and alleged that he had off-loaded coal mixed with rocks on 26 September 2023. The suspect entered the truck cab and produced three (3) pieces of rocks, presumably being part of the coal meant for delivery at the power station. He reportedly informed the driver that rocks were a problem and that he was grounding all the trucks. Three (3) trucks were in the queue at the time.
The suspect then demanded that the driver contact his employer. The driver contacted his supervisor at the coal transporting company who then spoke to the suspect who attempted to solicit a bribe by requesting a sum of R6 000 (R2 000 for each truck), after which he would allow the coal to be offloaded. Despite the supervisor not acceding to the suspect’s demands, the trucks were allowed to off-load the coal. The conversation between the driver, supervisor and suspect were captured through the truck’s fleet vehicle camera system.
An internal Eskom investigation found that the sub-contractor had indeed solicited a bribe from the hauler and his supervisor. It also established that the coal delivered, contrary to the suspect’s claims, was in accordance with Eskom’s specifications.
The suspect had since confessed to soliciting a bribe and was arrested and detained at the Ermelo Police Station. He was subsequently charged with bribery and appeared before the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on 12 October 2023 as per Ermelo CAS: 114/10/2023.
“The arrest of the sub-contractor is an encouraging step in our persistent efforts to fight crime. We commend the driver and supervisor who refused to pay the bribe and reported the matter to Eskom. It is through such co-operative efforts that the battle against crime and corruption will be won,” said Botse Sikhwitshi, Acting General Manager for Security at Eskom.
“There is compelling evidence against the suspect,” added Sikhwitshi.
Eskom commends the South African Police Service for the swift action in arresting the suspect, following a thorough investigation by the Eskom Group Security team.
Eskom continues to urge the public to report information regarding fraud, bribery, corruption, and other crimes to the Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal