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OUTA Charges Eskom's Anoj Singh For Corruption

“Anoj Singh has been invaluable for the Gupta empire and has bent over backwards to pave the way for lucrative deals."

29/08/2017 14:10 SAST | Updated 29/08/2017 14:26 SAST
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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has laid charges of corruption and financial misconduct against Eskom's suspended Chief Financial Officer, Anoj Singh.

The charges arise from the investigation by advocate Geoff Budlender who was appointed by Tokyo Sexwale, the then Chairman of the Trillian business group, to investigate the Gupta-related company over allegations of its use of inside political knowledge for commercial gain.

"Anoj Singh has been invaluable for the Gupta empire and has bent over backwards to pave the way for lucrative deals," said Ben Theron, OUTA's Chief Operating Officer.

An affidavit by advocate Stefanie Fick, OUTA's Head of Legal Affairs, outlining the case against Singh was handed to the police on Monday.

"The Budlender report and the emails (leaked emails from within the Gupta business empire) contain evidence of conduct by Singh that indicates corruption and breaches of the Public Finance Management Act and the Companies Act," said Fick.

"It is also apparent from the Budlender report that there has to be a full-scale investigation into Eskom and Transnet."

In a statement on Tuesday, OUTA makes reference to media reports which accuse Singh of authorising various payments from Eskom to benefit Gupta businesses; in return, he allegedly benefitted from Gupta-funded trips to Dubai.

"Singh authorised a R1.6 billion guarantee by Eskom to Absa bank, used by the Guptas to buy Optimum Coal Holdings in December 2015," OUTA said.

"The Budlender investigation notes that Singh authorised at least three substantial payments totalling R266 million to Trillian in April and August 2016 which did not go through Eskom's books; a fourth payment in December 2016 was later reported on by AmaBhungane."

The Democratic Alliance also filed charges against Singh on Friday last week.

DA public enterprises spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said the charges were based on Singh's alleged role in a range of corruption scandals at the power utility.

Singh has been on special leave since 27 July pending an investigation at Eskom, where he has been CFO since 25 September 2015 and acting CFO since 1 August 2015. He was previously CFO at Transnet.