Johannesburg - A former senior Eskom manager, his brother and his company, as well as two directors and their firm, have lost their bid to overturn a Special Tribunal ruling ordering their forfeiture of R11.5million to the State.
Petrus Mazibuko, who was a senior manager in the power utility’s coal operations division, his brother Shadrak, his company Thephunokheja Projects, Commodity Logistix Managers (CLM) Africa and its shareholders Mbulelo Khoza and Philip Sibanyoni, on Monday, failed to overturn Judge Thina Siwendu’s October ruling ordering they forfeit the millions of rands held in an FNB bank account.
Judge Siwendu found that the siblings’ conduct and that of Thephunokheja Projects were in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 2004.
According to the judge, they accepted gratification from another person for the benefit of themselves or for the benefit of another person in order to act, personally or by influencing another person to act, in a manner that amounts to the illegal, dishonest, unauthorised, incomplete or biased; or misuse or selling of information.
Petrus Mazibuko was also found to have violated the act in that he, as a public official who acquired or holds a private interest in any contract, agreement or investment emanating from or connected with the public body in which he or she is employed, or which is made on account of that public body.
They challenged the October 2021 ruling, but Judge Siwendu dismissed their application for leave to appeal with costs.
”The source of its undisputed obligation to disclose the relationship was its role as a supplier of Eskom, the failure of which resulted in the unlawful conduct complained of. The Tribunal’s finding that there was a breach of duty and consequently unlawful conduct on CLM’s part implicates the relevant legislation,” the judge said.
She further found Eskom imposed a duty on its employees to disclose their interests in suppliers (whether direct or indirect) and that Petrus Mazibuko, as an employee, breached this duty.
The Mazibuko brothers, Thephunokheja Projects, CLM, Khoza and Sibanyoni, were hauled before the tribunal by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) after President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a proclamation to probe maladministration, non-performance, defective performance by service providers and any losses incurred by Eskom.
This related to the Medupi and Kusile Power Station Projects, the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, and the much-publicised appointment of Gupta-linked companies McKinsey, Trillian and Regiment Capital, among others.
During its investigation, the SIU accused received information from a whistle-blower that Petrus Mazibuko received funds from CLM and Mpumalanga-based company Thembathlo, a CLM subcontractor who did not oppose the SIU’s application.
Over R15m was paid between April 2019 and last year, according to the SIU.