Former Eskom bosses get R300k bail

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Two former Eskom senior executives, Abram Masango and France Hlakudi, appeared in court yesterday in relation to a R745m fraud case.

They appeared alongside Tubular Construction CEO Tony Trindade and director of Babinatlou Business Services Maphoko Kgomoeswana.

The case relates to alleged wrongdoing regarding the Kusile power station construction project. The four were granted bail of R300,000 each. They will be released only after they post the bail amount.

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They were arrested in the early morning in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng by the police’s elite investigating unit, the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) investigating directorate. One accused is still at large.

Magistrate Albertus Roux said yesterday that the crimes the four are accused of were not only against the complainants, but against the community near the power station. He did not differentiate between bail amounts for the accused, as it is alleged they all benefited from the alleged crime.

The matter was postponed to May 25 at the specialised commercial crime court, sitting in Palm Ridge.

Masango, former group capital CEO, and Hlakudi, who was the contracts manager for Kusile, both left Eskom under a cloud – facing allegations that they had irregularly received millions of rand in kickbacks linked to the illegal awarding of contracts in the building of the power plant.

Masango, who has always denied wrongdoing, told the Sunday Times two months ago: “I left Eskom two years ago. I’m shocked that they are only investigating me now. No one even called me,” he said.

Hlakudi had in 2017 handed in his resignation letter and denied allegations he had accepted a multimillion-rand bribe to divert tenders at Kusile.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said all the accused were allegedly linked to fraudulent contracts and corruption amounting to R745m around the construction of Kusile power station.

-Sowetan


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