NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA to submit evidence of Guptas’ fake B-BBEE certificates – Dean Macpherson

MP says these were submitted to Eskom during the course of 2016 to secure contracts

DA to submit evidence of Guptas’ fake B-BBEE certificates to Zondo Commission

22 August 2018

The DA will submit evidence of possible counterfeit B-BBEE certificates, used by Gupta-owned companies to secure Eskom contracts as evidence of State Capture to the Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice, Ramond Zando.

In March 2018, the DA laid an official complaint with the B-BBEE Commission, headed by Ms Zodwa Ntuli, who agreed to probe allegations of fronting and supplying false information through B-BBEE certificates against Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources and Exploration, Optimum Coal Mining and Trillian Consulting.

These Gupta companies submitted certificates to Eskom during the course of 2016 to secure contracts, meet internal procurement requirements and, in the case of Trillian, to ensure payment authorisations worth billions.

Trillian and Tegeta’s certificates show that they may have misrepresented their B-BBEE status. Their annual turnover was inconsistent with that of micro-enterprises. The companies were required to have a turnover of less than R5 million for the 2015/16 financial year to be considered micro-enterprises.

However, according to a 2016 note to shareholders from Oakbay Resources, Tegeta’s assets were calculated at around R11 million, disqualifying it from being a micro-enterprise.

Trillian reported to have a turnover of less than R10 million per year but it and McKinsey were paid R1.6 billion between April 2016 and February 2017 for consulting work done in 2015 and 2016.

Tegeta and Trillian therefore may have unduly benefited from the 0% black ownership waiver given to micro-enterprises.

Should this apparent procurement manipulation by Eskom be found to be criminal, the B-BBEE Commission will be able to refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority or the South African Police Service for prosecution.

We trust that the State Capture Inquiry will consider the DA’s evidence favourably as we attempt to expose the lengths that the Gupta’s went to in order to ‘capture' Eskom. We are pleased that the inquiry is now underway, more than two years after State Capture was uncovered.

It is well known that the State Capture project deliberately undermined the rule of law so that a corrupt elite could benefit at the expense of millions of South Africans. All who benefited from it must held to account and prosecuted.

Issued by Dean MacphersonDA Shadow Minister of Trade & Industry, 22 August 2018