B-BBEE Commission finds three companies guilty of holding fraudulent BEE certificates

DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry Dean Macpherson said the party will be laying criminal charges.

The Gupta-aligned companies being charged are Trillian Consulting, Tegetta Resources and Optimum Coal Mine

After an 18-month investigation by the B-BBEE Commission into complaints laid by the DA, it has been found that three Gupta-aligned companies used fraudulent BEE certificates to secure contracts and payments from Eskom

The commission found that the strength of the black shareholding of Optimum Coal Mine was taken at face value from third-party information supplied by auditors, Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo, who allocated 50.4 percent shareholding to Optimum when its majority shareholder was an India-based company. Optimum also relied on shares held by Duduzane Zuma through his investment company Mabengela Investments to boost its black ownership without this ever being independently verified. 

Trillian Consulting had misrepresented annual turnover for its BEE certificate as it had received R10 million in payments in 2016 and had invoiced Eskom for R30 million by the time it submitted a deposed affidavit that it was a micro-enterprise with a turnover of less than R10 million. The BEE certificate was also submitted after the payment by Eskom had been made, calling into question how this was allowed in violation of Eskom’s procurement policies. Trillian Consulting had 0 percent black ownership despite Eskom's policy of only doing business with businesses with 51 percent black ownership.

Tegetta Resources had concluded a contract with Eskom in March 2015 for R3.8 billion and in the same year had received payments from Eskom to the value of R100 million. The company was allowed to present a BEE certificate to Eskom classifying it as a micro-enterprise with turnover under R10 million per year. Verification agency BEE Matrix issued certificates to Tegetta and Optimum that were not factual and in violation of the BEE Act. 

In a statement released by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Dean Macpherson MP, and the DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone MP, said the political party will lay criminal charges against the three companies for misrepresenting their BEE status and for providing false information to Eskom in terms of Section 130 of the B-BBEE Act.

They will also be laying criminal charges against Anoj Singh, Prish Govender, Edwin Mabelane and Ayanda Nteta who were aware of the value of the contracts to the three companies, but failed to report misrepresentation to the commission. 

They will also be laying charges against chartered accountant Simone Mitchell, who acted under BEE Matrix,  in terms of Section 130 of the Act for misrepresentation of Tegetta and Optimum’s BEE status. The DA will also lay complaints with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA).