‘Rampant corruption’ linked to McKinsey-Trillian transactions, says Zondo

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has recommended that the National Prosecuting Authority investigate Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko for their alleged roles in the capture of Eskom. 

Zondo found there was “rampant corruption” linked to the McKinsey-Trillian transactions, which warranted further investigation and possible criminal prosecution.

The trio are accused of facilitating unlawful contracts, corruption and financial misconduct.

The fourth instalment of the Zondo report, which was handed to the presidency on Friday morning, digs into the alleged capture of Eskom by the Gupta family, who allegedly used Molefe, Singh and Koko to win valuable contracts from the power utility.

The trio was central to the Trillian scandal, a scheme that Zondo says was designed to exploit Eskom and benefit Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa

Trillian, an offshoot of Regiments Capital, has, for years, fielded allegations of profiting from state-owned entities — including Transnet, where Molefe and Singh worked prior to their secondments to Eskom. Trillian’s involvement at Eskom, alongside consultancy firm McKinsey, began in early 2015.

Eskom made allegedly unlawful payments totalling R1.6-billion to Trillian and McKinsey.

Singh joined Eskom as acting chief financial officer on 1 August 2015. According to Zondo, evidence shows that McKinsey and Regiments held extensive consultations with Singh in the months prior to his secondment at Eskom.

Singh, Zondo says, would have acted in concert with Koko to set up the stage for Trillian to benefit unjustly at the expense of Eskom. 

Molefe and Singh pursued negotiations with McKinsey and Trillian “through secret, off-site meetings to agree to work on a range of issues together before any formal contracting processes even began”, says Zondo. This would eventually result in them and other Eskom officials, including Koko, taking part in signing off on submissions to obtain board approvals for the contracting process which they knew was irregular and unlawful.

“All of the above-mentioned individuals colluded together to ensure that at least two large contracts were irregularly awarded to McKinsey and their development supplier, which was intended at first to be Regiments and then Trillian. Substantive payments were made unlawfully and irregularly to these parties, who benefitted unduly at the expense of Eskom.”

Molefe, Singh and Koko all benefited from the Guptas and Essa in various forms, Zondo added.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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