State Capture emails: Eskom CFO allegedly also benefited from Gupta-funded trips abroad

JUNE 1, 2017
State Capture emails: Eskom CFO allegedly also benefited from Gupta-funded trips abroad

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday said that it will be submitting an affidavit to the South African Police Service to include Anoj Singh, the current Eskom CFO, in the charges of corruption and racketeering the DA laid on Tuesday against President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family, several cabinet ministers and senior executives of State Owned Entities.

"A chain of leaked emails in the DA’s possession reveal that Singh was whisked off on at least four suspiciously-timed Gupta-funded trips to Dubai during the period Transnet awarded a R1.8 billion tender to Neotel, resulting in a R36 million kickback to a Gupta company," said Natasha Mazzone MP - DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises.

"Singh was the Transnet CFO at the time.

"The email chain indicates that under then-Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, Singh travelled to Dubai on at least four occasions while this R1.8 billion contract was awarded to the Gupta’s preferred bidder, Neotel."

Mazzone said that each trip appears to have been fully paid for by Gupta-owned company, Sahara Computers, which included five-star luxury accommodation at the Oberoi Hotel.

"It was clear that the Guptas needed Neotel to win the contract as Gupta-run company, Homix, had a deal in place with Neotel agreeing to secure the contract with Transnet for them in exchange for the payment of 2% of the value of the contract – which totalled a kickback of R36 million.

"This was the second agreement Homix and Neotel had struck, with the previous kickback resulting in a R30 million profit for the Guptas."

She said that the timeline of Mr. Singh’s Dubai trips is as follows:

  • 6 – 9 June 2014: Singh travelled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai with Rajesh (Tony) Gupta. This was during the time where the bidding process was open, and no preferred bidder accepted. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 12 August 2014: Singh travelled again to the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai. It seems not just coincidence that it was during this month that Transnet notified Neotel that it was the new preferred bidder. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 9 November 2014: Singh travels to Dubai again, staying at the Oberoi Hotel once more. Weeks later, Neotel was awarded the contract concerned, worth R 1.8 billion, and paid Homix the amount of R 41 million. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 24 – 26 February 2015: Once the R36 million was successfully paid to the Guptas, Anoj Singh was treated to a celebratory luxury trip to Dubai, once again in the five-star Oberoi, on the Guptas’ tab. (See booking confirmation here).

"It is our view that this revelation directly implicates Mr. Singh, and as such charges must be brought against him. It is also impossible that this arrangement took place without Brian Molefe being aware," Mazzone added.

"This revelation shows quite vividly how the Jacob Zuma state capture project has infected all spheres of the state, and corrupt individuals are working to ensure a small group of connected individuals become rich. We will not stop until every individual involved in the capture of our state is brought to book.

"Zuma and his friends cannot continue to steal from our people. We must earnestly focus South Africa towards building a prosperous nation, where jobs can be created for all."