Former Eskom financial controller jailed 20-years for faking invoices worth R35m

Mosia Barnard Moraka, former financial controller at Eskom, has been sentenced to a jail term of 20 years.

According to a statement by spokesperson for Eskom, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, Moraka and Eskom service provider Victor Vilosi Tshabalala were each found guilty of 53 counts of fraud and theft that cost the utility firm R35 million. Tshabalala also got a 20-year jail sentence.

Also their properties were ordered to be sold and the proceeds paid directly to Eskom by the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court. The properties were placed under a preservation order in November 2021.

Moraka was financial controller for primary energy in Eskom until he resigned in 2018. He defraud the power utility of R35 million between January 2016 and October 2018 by loading fake invoices for coal transport in collusion with Tshabalala, the owner of Meagra Transport Close Corporation.

The charge sheet against Tshabalala states that his company never transported coal from the Palesa Mine in Mpumalanga to the Clewer Rail Route and had no contract with the state-owned entity, despite receiving 53 payments to this effect.

They were arrested in 2019, following an investigation by Eskom’s audit and forensics department.

The two convicts spent some of the R35 million they stole on overseas holidays trips to Disneyland in the US as well as to Paris in France, while they also bought luxury cars and properties, Eskom said. They were taken into custody on Tuesday to begin their sentence.

André de Ruyter, Eskom CEO, said in a statement that “What is most pleasing about this judgment is that the taxpayers will recover some of the stolen funds through the sale of the ill-gotten property belonging to the convicts.”

This is only one of the many cases of corruption that Eskom is pursuing involving staff, the CEO said.