Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

SIU welcomes the court appearance of two Eskom officials.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) welcomes the court appearance of two Eskom officials. The appearance follows arrests by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks). The two officials are Ms Thandi Ruth Magagula, employed as an Officer of Safety Risk Management and Ms Nontuthubo Surprise Mahweliri employed as the Maintenance Manager. Both were employed at the Hendrina Power Station in Mpumalanga Province.

The court appearance and arrests follow criminal referrals made by the SIU to the National Prosecuting Authority. The two appeared in different courts, Middelburg Regional Court, and Hendrina Magistrate’s Court respectively, facing the same charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

The case of Thandi Ruth Magagula

An SIU investigation revealed that Ms Magagula held a private investment in company called Montoza Engineering. Montoza Engineering had one or more contract/s with Eskom and according to Eskom records during the period of approximately October 2015 to November 2015, had rendered services, and provided work or goods to Eskom to the value of approximately R58 888,76. Ms Magagula as an employee of Eskom was not supposed to conduct any business with the entity as this is against Eskom’s policy on conflict of interest.

On top of the criminal referral, the SIU made a disciplinary referral on 17 November 2020. Eskom convened a hearing and Ms Magagula was found guilty and was given a suspension of 7 days without pay.

The case of Nontuthubo Surprise Mahweliri

The investigation by the SIU found that Ms Mahweliri failed to declare that she is a member of a company called NKG Trading investments, which had a contract with Eskom and failed to apply for permission to perform private work. Her company received payments to the value of R1,082,884.51 for the period 2017 and 2018.

The SIU also referred Ms Mahweliri for disciplinary action. Eskom held a hearing, and she was found guilty of all charges of misconduct and suspended for 7 days without pay.

Both cases were postponed and will be appearing before the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R11 of 2018, amended by R3 of 2020 and R97 of 2022, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of Eskom and the conduct of Eskom officials and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State.

The court appearance is part of the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption strategy by law enforcement agencies to strengthen its fight against corruption, especially when such crimes are committed by state employees in positions of trust to deliver services for the benefit of the public and the economy, but instead, steal from the most vulnerable to enrich themselves and fund their opulent lifestyles.

In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 (SIU Act), the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.

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