Eskom seems to be demanding a reimbursement of R1.56 billion from McKinsey and Trillian which it paid as consulting fees to the two firms in the past two years in what looks like a political gimmick.
This is reflected in a bizarre statement issued by Eskom today and coming amidst increasing heat on the irregular relationship the power utility had with McKinsey and Trillian and their Gupta connections.
The statement said “Eskom sought McKinsey and Trillian’s co-operation in respectively returning R1-billion and R564-million which appears to have been unlawfully paid out in 2016 and 2017.”
It added that “The interim findings from Eskom investigations, into the circumstances surrounding payments made to both the companies, point to certain decisions by Eskom, and resultant payments, as being unlawful.”
As such “Eskom is obliged, pursuant to its statutory and common law duties, including the Public Finance Management Act and the Companies Act, to seek to set aside these unlawful decisions and to have all the money unlawfully paid out returned. Accordingly, Eskom wrote to each explaining the action it would take and requesting their cooperation in the matter.”
The statement added that “Being such a critical entity, which is inextricably tied to the nation’s economy, it is in the public interest to do everything we can as Eskom to clawback all the fees which were unlawfully paid, while expediting the disciplinary processes currently underway.”
Expose of expensive Eskom irregularities has led to the departure of Eskom executives including, CEO Brian Molefe and chairperson Ben Ngubane. The CFO Anoj Signh has been suspended and is subject of disciplinary action as a direct results of these McKinsey/Trillian payments. Molefe’s job was provisionally occupied by Matshela Koko who was also suspended and is also subject of disciplinary action over financial irregularities.
Public pressure has caused the minister of public enterprises to call for disciplinary action.