Hitachi bribery: Public Protector asked to probe Eskom’s Medupi tenders

Johannesburg – The Helen Suzman Foundation has asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to probe Eskom, Chancellor House and the ANC following the damning Hitachi revelations.

The request follows recent claims by the United States Securities Exchange Commission about the awarding of Eskom tenders to Hitach Power Africa.

A construction truck drives past the Medupi power station in Lephalele in this file picture taken April 11, 2013. Workers at South Africa's Eskom Medupi power plant have embarked on a one day strike, protesting against poor living conditions and demanding higher pay at the facility which is under construction, a local radio reported on Wednesday. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/Files
A construction truck drives past the Medupi power station in Lephalele in this file picture taken April 11, 2013. Workers at South Africa’s Eskom Medupi power plant have embarked on a one day strike, protesting against poor living conditions and demanding higher pay at the facility which is under construction, a local radio reported on Wednesday. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/Files

The commission has made damning allegations against Hitachi Power Africa and Chancellor House, which include Hitachi’s efforts to get favours during the adjudication of Eskom tenders.

Read also: Hitachi bribery included Eskom; ANC must come clean or face Brazilian fate

The commission alleged that Hitachi sold a 25% interest to Chancellor House, the ANC’s investment arm, in order to land the lucrative contracts at Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations. Hitachi was awarded tenders worth approximately US$5.6m (R78m at the current exchange rate), earning Chancellor House $1m (R13.9m) in “success fees”.

“If correct, these parties are likely to have contravened, inter alia, provisions of the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Companies Act.

Particularly concerning is the apparent overlap between the private financial interests of members of the government and the ANC and the possible misuse of state funds,” the Foundation said in a statement.

Read also: Hitachi fingered by SEC for bribing to get “rotten to core” Medupi contract

While Hitachi has paid $19m to settle the case in the United States, the revelations have reinvigorated interest in the matter in South Africa.

Helen Suzman director Francis Antonie said the Foundation lodged the complaint in the hope of getting “a comprehensive view” of what transpired with the power station tenders.

“We hope that the public protector can trace the paper trail and find out who benefited from the contracts and who benefited unlawfully,” Antonie said.

Madonsela has not yet responded to a request for comment. – Fin24

Source: http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/Public-Protector-asked-to-probe-Eskom-tenders-20151002

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