McKinsey searches years of documents in Eskom-Trillian probe

28 July 2017 - 08:47 By Paul Burkhardt
Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo Power Station, a coal-fired power station owned by state power utility ESKOM near Sasolburg on March 2, 2016.
Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo Power Station, a coal-fired power station owned by state power utility ESKOM near Sasolburg on March 2, 2016.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

McKinsey & Co. is reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents related to Eskom as part of a probe by the US consultancy that includes any interactions with Trillian Capital Partners Ltd., a company linked to friends of President Jacob Zuma.

Eskom is conducting its own investigation of work done by Trillian Capital, to which the utility said it paid R495-million as part of a corporate plan and turnaround program. Eskom interim Chairman Zethembe Khoza said last week that Trillian worked for McKinsey as a subcontractor, which McKinsey denies.

The investigation “involves a detailed review of our client interactions and work at Eskom since 2012” and interactions with supply-development partners over the past three years, McKinsey said Wednesday in an emailed response to questions. Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is helping with the probe.

The Guptas have been at the center of allegations of so-called state capture and undue influence over government institutions. In November, the former public protector published a report saying Zuma and some ministers may have breached the government’s code of ethics in their relationship with the family.

A July report into allegations against Trillian by a leading advocate showed the company submitted an invoice for R30.7-million to Eskom Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh in April last year, which was paid the same day.

Salim Essa, a business associate of the Guptas, sold his stake in Trillian, the company said in a statement Wednesday, after reports about the family hindered the financial-services company.

McKinsey, which ended its work with Eskom by mutual agreement on July 10, said that all payments to Trillian were paid directly by the utility. The consultancy also hasn’t discovered anything that would require notification of US authorities, it said.

- Bloomberg 

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