Eskom Fraud Accused Lomas Too Ill For UK Extradition Trial

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The Westminster Magistrate Court’ based in London, United Kingdom has adjourned the extradition trial of fugitive Michael Harry Lomas, a former Eskom Contractor wanted in South Africa for fraud involving more than R745m.

The British national who was arrested earlier this year in the UK has been out on bail pending his extradition hearing, which has now been postponed to 3 – 5 May 2022 due to a new medical reason.

South African authorities said the former Eskom contractor’s arrest in April and court appearance emanate from months of talks with their UK counterparts.

Lomas is part of those accused of defrauding Eskom of R745m that was paid to Tubular Construction Projects, where he was the chairman.

The massive tender fraud and graft are linked to the construction of the mega coal-fired Kusile Power Station.

The dodgy tenders exposed the power utility to costs of R1.4bn as per the escalation of the contract.

In 2019 three other accused – then Tubular Construction CEO Tony Trindade and two former Eskom senior executives, Abram Masango and France Hlakudi appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on the same fraud matter.

All the accused – except Lomas – are expected back in the criminal matter at the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court on 30 March 2022.

Lomas was arrested on 15 April 2021 in London and granted hefty bail of £100 000 (R 1.7million in April 2021) and he further submitted an additional surety of £250 000 (about R4.3million in April 2021).

On Tuesday, the UK court adjourned early as Lomas legal team brought a submission before the court that the medical condition has a bearing on his mental health, said Investigating Directorate Spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.

Investigating Directorate Spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka speaks on fraud accused Michael Lomas