- South Africa’s Investigating Directorate has confirm that it has arrested eight accused yesterday morning in relation to the R2.2 billion matter linked to the building of the Kusile Power Station.
- They made a brief appearance on the same day at the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court today on charges of corruption, fraud, and money laundering.
- All eight have been release on bail of varying amounts (Koko – R300000) until the matter returns to court on the 23 March 2023.
The accused in the matter are former SA Local Government Association (SALGA) Chief Executive Thabo Mokwena, Eskom’s former interim Chief Executive Matshela Koko, his wife, Mosima Koko, and Koko’s stepdaughters Koketso Aren and Thato Choma. Eskom Project Director at Kusile (most senior on site) Hlupheka Sithole, Lawyer Johannes Coetzee and Watson Seswai.
In 2009, Eskom contracted with Alstom to undertake the C&I (Control and Instrumentation) contract at Kusile Power Station. Alstom did not perform. Eskom engineers recommended that Siemens be appointed. The State alleges that Group Executive Technology and Commercial Koko influenced and abused his position to have Siemens, Billfinger-Mauell and ABB invited to bid to a closed tender.
Mauell dropped out of the tender process and ABB South Africa was eventually appointed in 2015. ABB was awarded the C&I multimillion rand contract. The State alleges that it then resulted in ABB South Africa appointing a company owned by Thabo Mokwena to provide skills development and industrialisation (SDL) work to the value of R96 million contract, excluding VAT.
In 2016 four variation orders were granted to ABB South Africa, by Sithole to provide extra work not covered in the initial multi-billion-rand C&I contract. The State alleges that money flowed from the multibillion-rand contract and that this was the first attempt to launder money on behalf of Koko.
In 2015- 2017 several contracts were awarded of which four form part of this matter for Impulse International. They were for providing Eskom and Rotek Industries with SAP work packages, specialised engineers and managers to oversee the different interphase contractors amongst other functions. The state further alleges that a portion of these contracts was used to butter hands.
In the court papers it is alleged that money laundering vehicles were set up by Coetzee to siphon money from Impulse International to benefit the Koko family.
Documents in the Eskom Files – a vast data dump of emails, forensic reports, bank statements and legal and financial records – show that ABB paid Impulse R557m. After Choma became a shareholder at Impulse, Eskom awarded the company a series of other lucrative contracts and paid the firm R295 million.
The documents also show that around R30 million flowed from Impulse to a company, Ukwakhiwa Investments, which was owned by Choma. Ukwakhiwa Investments then paid R14.5 million to High Echelon Trading, a company owned by Koko’s wife.
The arrest was as a result of joint stakeholder engagements between the ID, Hawks and the SIU.
‘’ This arrest is about accountability and rule of law. We must execute the NPA’s constitutional mandate for justice – it is imperative for the country and its people that we serve without fear, favour or prejudice’’ says ID head Adv Andrea Johnson.
The matter returns to court on the 23 March 2023.