Two former employees of Swiss engineering firm Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), Mohammed Mooidheen and Vernon Pillay, along with their wives have been arrested in connection with alleged kickbacks in exchange for inflated contracts awarded to Impulse International, a contract for the supply of a control and instrumentation system at the Kusile power station.
ABB was paying Impulse International R549 million in 2016 and 2017, when former acting Eskom CEO Mathsela Koko’s stepdaughter, Koketso Choma, was a shareholder of Impulse.
The Mooidheens and Pillays were arrested on Tuesday morning by a team of investigators from the Investigating Directorate in a joint operation with the Hawks and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The third arrest in a series of state capture cases being pursued by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Eskom said in a statement on Wednesday that the four were arrested by the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for corruption that defrauded Eskom in a contract awarded to ABB in 2015.
Adding, “Former ABB employees Mohammed Mooidheen and Vernon Pillay stand accused of using their influence and cashing in irregular gratifications estimated at R8.6-million, which included cash and luxury vehicles, in irregularly awarding to Impulse a R549.6-million subcontract. Their spouses are also alleged to have benefited from the crime.”
The four are accused of corruption, conspiracy to commit corruption and money laundering, charges which if proven guilty could see them behind bars for anywhere between 15 and 30 years, or being fined R100 million.
The Mooidheens were granted bail of R30 000 for Raeesa and R50 000 for Muhammed – after an attorney could not be arranged in time and they were forced to represent themselves.