Eskom lied to SA about R1.6bn payments to Gupta-linked Trillian

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BY STEPHAN HOFSTATTER

State-run utility admits to fake claims of legitimacy

Eskom has admitted that it lied when it defended making payments totalling R1.6-billion to Gupta-linked financial advisory firm Trillian and global business consultancy McKinsey.

In June, Eskom strongly defended the payments in response to questions prompted by the release of a damning report into Trillian by advocate Geoff Budlender.

Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo Power Station, a coal-fired power station owned by ESKOM near Sasolburg, March 2, 2016.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

At the time, Eskom said another global management consultancy, Oliver Wyman, had concluded that “all payments” were “based on prudent costs incurred and value created”.

But Eskom conceded yesterday that this information was false.

Not only had Oliver Wyman failed to approve the payments, it had red-flagged them and recommended a legal review of the entire contracting process.

A correction sent from Eskom head of legal affairs Suzanne Daniels pointed out that Oliver Wyman had been appointed to perform “a technical peer-to-peer assessment of the work conducted by McKinsey and Trillian for Eskom”.

“Oliver Wyman did not approve the making of any payment claims to McKinsey and Trillian,” said Daniels.

“Oliver Wyman raised concerns with certain of the payment claims on procedural and technical grounds, and raised issues as to whether the payment claims represented fair value for work done.”

She said Oliver Wyman, which was founded in New York and has offices throughout the world, also recommended a separate process of reviewing Eskom’s master service agreement with McKinsey and the contracting process of the overall programme.

-TimesLIVE

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