30/06/2017 09:07 SAST | Updated 30/06/2017 14:09 SAST

Gupta-Linked Trillian Paid R266 Million For Eskom Work It Did Not Do

An inquiry has revealed the extent of the rot at the company, linked to the Gupta family.

Tokyo Sexwale at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Tokyo Sexwale at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

Despite earlier denials, it has now emerged that financial advisory firm Trillian, with its Gupta links, was paid R266 million by Eskom for work that it did not do. Business Day reported that this was one of several details revealed by an inquiry into Trillian, conducted by advocate Geoff Budlender. The report was released on Thursday. Trillian chairman Tokyo Sexuale commissioned the inquiry in October last year.

The investigation was reportedly prompted by a whistleblower to reported instances of corruption to former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela.

Trillian is majority owned by Gupta associate Salim Essa.

Trillian and public enterprises minister Lynne Brown have previously denied that Trillian did any work for Eskom.

According to The Times, Sexuale revealed on Thursday that Essa tried to convene an urgent board meeting on Wednesday to remove him as chairman.

One of the report's main findings was that Trillian's chief executive, Eric Wood, had prior knowledge of the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. The report also showed that the Eskom payments were stamped paid, and Budlender said this indicated that the information which Brown had given Parliament was either false or seriously misleading.

It was also untrue that Trillian had no link to the Guptas, and more questions have surfaced about payments made to Trillian by Transnet, where it appeared no work had been done, The Times reported.

Budlender also revealed that Trillian had tried to obstruct his investigation. While Wood told The Times that Budlender did not want to hear his views, Budlender said this was untrue, and said the first time Wood had contacted him was on Wednesday.