South Africa: DA Lays Charges Against Gupta-Linked Companies, Eskom Execs Over BEE Certificates

The DA on Friday laid criminal charges against Gupta-linked companies and individuals and former Eskom executives who have been implicated in the awarding of fake BEE certificates.

These charges follow the explosive findings by the BB-BEE Commission that Gupta-linked companies had used fraudulent BEE certificates to secure contracts and payments from Eskom.

“The 18-month in-depth investigation by the Commission is another window into the murky, abusive and corrupt world of state capture by Gupta companies, pliable Eskom officials, high-ranking politicians and the side-line enablers in the corporate sector to give a veneer of legitimacy to their smoke and mirror dealings,” reads a statement from the DA MP and spokesperson on trade and industry Dean Macpherson.

The DA laid criminal charges against the following:

Tegetta, Optimum and Trillian for misrepresentation of their BEE status and for providing false information to Eskom in terms of Section 130 of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act;Anoj Singh, Prish Govender, Edwin Mabelane and A. Nteta, who were aware of the value of the contracts to Trillian, Tegetta and Optimum, who failed to report misrepresentation to the Commission in terms of Section 130 (2) of the Act;Perjury charges against Tebogo Leballo, who on behalf of Trillian, lied under oath in deposing an affidavit claiming Trillian as an Exempted Micro Enterprise; and,The laying of charges against Simone Mitchell in terms of Section 130 of the Act for misrepresentation of Tegetta and Optimum’s BEE status. The DA will also lay complaints with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and South African Institute for Chartered Accountants.

The DA will also lay complaints with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and South African Institute for Chartered Accountants.

Speaking to News24 shortly after he and fellow DA MPs – Natasha Mazzone and Mat Cuthbert – laid the charges at the Cape Town Central Police Station, Macpherson said: “This is important, because all of those companies had misled Eskom to believe that they were micro-enterprises, or doing turnover of less than R10m a year, while they have in fact secured contracts worth billions of Rands from Eskom and in fact been paid tens of millions of Rands in previous years.

“We want to see people behind bars resulting from these charges,” he said.

“For far too long, people in corporate scandals like this have got away with it. And we need to see consequences and action.”

He said the matter also proved the DA’s long-held belief that BEE was “nothing more than a fig leaf for the politically connected and those aligned with the ANC to rip off state-owned enterprises at the cost of the ten million unemployed South Africans”.

In his statement, Macpherson said this was why DA leader Mmusi Maimane had called for the current model of BEE to be scrapped and for it to be replaced by a new model of genuine redress and inclusive growth that created a shared future that all South Africans could be proud of.

He described the BB-BEE Commission’s report as “yet another nail in the coffin of the Gupta empire and a piece of the puzzle in state capture”.

In his affidavit to the police, Macpherson said he became aware that Tageta, Optimum Coal Mine and Trillian had submitted BEE certificates to comply with Eskom’s procurement policy.

“It further came to my attention that these companies’ shareholding did not comply with Eskom’s procurement policy as they were owned by foreign nationals,” reads his affidavit.

He obtained the certificates and, in March 2018, submitted a complaint to the BB-BEE Commission.

Source: News24

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