Eskom employees appear in court for corruption

Two Eskom employees appeared in court for fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Thandi Ruth Magagula and Nontuthubo Surprise Mahweliri were arrests follow criminal referrals made by the Special Investigating Unit to the National Prosecuting Authority. The pair appeared in the Middelburg Regional Court, and Hendrina Magistrate’s Court.

An SIU investigation revealed that Magagula held a private investment in a company called Montoza Engineering. The company had one or more contracts with Eskom. According to Eskom records, between October and November 2015. It rendered services and provided work or goods to Eskom to the value of approximately R58 888.76.

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“Magagula as an employee of Eskom was not supposed to conduct any business with the entity, as this is against Eskom’s policy for conflict of interest,” said the SIU.

The SIU made a disciplinary referral on November 17, 2020. After a hearing conducted by Eskom, Magagula was found guilty and subsequently suspended for seven days. Meanwhile, Nontuthubo Surprise Mahweliri did not to declare that she is a member of a company called NKG Trading investments. She had a contract with Eskom and failed to apply for permission to perform private work.

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Her company received payments to the value of R1 082 884.51 between 2017 and 2018. The SIU also referred Mahweliri to disciplinary action. After conducting a hearing, Eskom found her guilty of all charges of misconduct and suspended her for seven days without pay. The Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court will hear both cases after they were postponed.

Magagula was employed as an Officer for Safety Risk Management and Mahweliri was employed as the Maintenance Manager at the Hendrina Power Station.

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 Eskom and the conduct of Eskom officials and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State.

“This is part of the National Anti-Corruption strategy by law enforcement agencies to strengthen its fight against corruption. Such crimes committed by state employees in positions of trust to deliver services for the benefit of the public and the economy, but steal from the most vulnerable to enrich themselves and fund their opulent lifestyles,” said the SIU.

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