R14,7M Bowl Pumps Fraud: Buyer Arrested 10 Years After Quitting Eskom

A former Eskom senior buyer at Arnot Power Station has been arrested nearly a decade after the unlawful payment of R14,7 million to a supplier for Bowl Pumps that were never delivered.

The former senior buyer had since become an Eskom contractor employee.

“Concerted efforts by the South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) and Eskom have led to the arrest of a contractor employee at Eskom’s Matla Power Station on Thursday, (17 March 2023),” the power utility said on Friday.

“The arrest is in connection with prior transgressions committed while the suspect was employed by Eskom in the capacity of Senior Buyer at Arnot Power Station in 2014.

“The arrest follows allegations that the supplier was awarded an order for the supply of Bowl Pumps and received a down payment of R14.7 million upfront without goods being delivered.”

Eskom said it had to place an urgent order for the same material with another company, and the power utility suffered a financial loss as a consequence.

“An internal Eskom investigation found that the employee facilitated the payment without authorisation and resigned soon thereafter,” Eskom said.

“The investigation also found that the supplier in question, which is no longer operational, had no track record in dealing with Eskom nor had any previous orders.

“Several misrepresentations and irregularities that appear to indicate that the employee’s involvement amounted to fraud and corruption were uncovered.”

The matter was handed to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

“We are grateful to the DPCI that the long arm of the law finally caught up with the suspect three years later,” said Amos Phoshoko, Acting Senior Manager for Forensic and Anti-Corruption at Eskom.

“The arrest of the employee having left the employ of Eskom is an encouraging step in our persistent efforts in the fight against fraud and corruption.

“It will serve as a deterrent to would-be criminals who thought they could get away with a crime by merely resigning from the organisation.”

The suspect has been remanded in custody and will appear in court for a bail application next week on Wednesday, (22 March 2023).