Four companies are to be prosecuted for collusion in an R4.5bn tender run by Eskom, South Africa’s competition watchdog has announced.
The Competition Commission said four companies were referred for prosecution following an investigation into collusion over a tender to install thermal insulation in all 15 of Eskom’s coal power stations.
The move comes as controversy swirls around president Jacob Zuma, who is mired in corruption allegations and faces calls to stand down.
The investigation was launched after Eskom lodged a complaint, and found evidence of price fixing and collusive tendering on the part of Waco Africa Ltd, acting through its subsidiary SGB Cape, Tedoc Industries Ltd, Mtsweni Corrosion Control Ltd and Superfecta Trading.
The investigation concluded SGB Cape had submitted multiple bids, one on its own and three others as part of joint ventures with each of the other named companies, which it used to manipulate the quoted price.
Meanwhile Parliament has suspended the annual state of the nation address amid disagreement about the future of Zuma, who is himself embroiled in corruption allegations.
Zuma, who was ousted as leader of the ruling AMC party last year, is reportedly refusing to stand down as the president and talks between him and current ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa about the transitioning of power are said to have stalled.
The speaker of South Africa’s parliament took the decision to postpone the address amid concerns that opposition parties would cause chaos and disruption if it went ahead with Zuma still president. Zuma has faced ongoing calls to stand down as president amid numerous corruption allegations, including the ongoing Guptagate scandal in which the Gupta family have been accused using their personal relationship with Zuma to win contracts.
Among the allegations are that the Gupta family inappropriately contacted officials at Eskom as well as other public bodies from which their businesses won contracts. This allegation is separate from the Competition Commission's collusion case.
The Gupta family were central to a report by the public protector into state capture published at the end of 2016. Both the Gupta family and Zuma deny the allegations.
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