Sun. Jul 21st, 2019

Who are Trillian? The firm ordered to repay almost R600m to Eskom

Eskom trillianIf Eskom can find 750 more contracts this dodgy, they could plug their R400 billion debt-hole. Here’s what you need to know about the Trillian firm.

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Well, we make that 0.15% of Eskom’s debt cleared. The Pretoria High Court have ordered Trillian to repay R600 million of a loan that was fraudulently pushed through under the guidance of the old executive.

Former Eskom bigwigs Anoj Singh and Brian Molefe were also named during the judgement, for enjoying the perks offered by Trillian once business was conducted. But who exactly are this company, and how did they get involved?

Who are Trillian?

Well, it has to be clarified immediately: They are a consultancy firm who were only established in 2015, after the owners of Regiments Capital decided to set up a new business venture. The main man behind the company is Gupta-associate Salim Essa – you can probably see where this one is going.

The Gupta link

As the court documents revealed on Tuesday, the firm has been told to return the eye-watering fee to Eskom after a deal brokered between them and another slice of the Gupta empire…

McKinsey, who specialise in studying businesses and finding ways to improve business or save them money, were hired by Eskom for R1.6 billion Immediately afterwards, an agreement was reached where Trillian received at least R266m from the contract, despite doing minimal work.

Eskom reclaim R600 million from Trillian

Payments from this deal – made in 2015 and 2016 respectively – are the ones that have cost Trillian more than half a billion rand: Money they have been ordered to repay to the stricken utility giant. The judge for this case has slammed all involved in this unholy trinity for their “impropriety”.

“In three months until January 2016 inexplicably McKinsey was paid over R70-million while Trillian was paid R30.6-million. McKinsey were remunerated by Eskom as if the contract was for the entire period of six months. The conclusion of this contract was entered into without any tender process.”

Dodgy Eskom executives named

Meanwhile, it was also revealed that Singh and Molefe met with Essa in the weeks leading up to this payment, which ultimately explains the extent of state capture within Eskom. The disgraced pair – who both left the company in 2018 – were wooed by all-expenses-paid trips to Dubai to sweeten the deal.

However, the bubble has comprehensively burst since then: The Guptas are refusing to return to South Africa and the state capture inquiry has dug up more dirt than a fleet of JCBs. With this damning ruling from Pretoria, other companies who exploited Eskom’s rot could soon face similar action.

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