South Africa

Former Eskom executive France Hlakudi wants R30m tax evasion case struck off roll

Cape Town – Former Eskom senior manager France Hlakudi’s tax matter was postponed to April 22 by the Pretoria Regional Court today.

This was to allow the magistrate, Adriaan Bekker, to hand down judgment on the application brought by the defence for the striking off of the fraud charges in the R30 million tax evasion matter, the Hawks reported on Wednesday. Hlakudi was Eskom Kusile Power Station senior manager for capital contracts.

’’Hlakudi’s team argued that the fraud charges should not be applicable in this matter and should be struck off before the matter proceeds to trial.

’’The Investigating Directorate argued that Hlakudi intentionally defrauded the South African Revenue Services by failing to disclose his true income, which amounts to an intent to defraud the state.

’’The fraud and contravention of the Tax Administration Act charges are in relation to his personal tax affairs and that of his companies, Hlakudi Translation and Interpretation cc, Coxinel Chicken (Pty)Ltd and Bon Services Telcom cc. This is for the funds received between 2015 and 2018.’’

If found guilty, according to the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997, a minimum sentence of 15 years is applicable for a first-time offender.

Hlakudi is among four accused facing charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, offering unauthorised gratifications and receiving unauthorised gratification in connection in the Eskom Kusile R745 million case.

Eskom Group Executive for the Group Capital Division Abram Masango, Hlakudi, businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana and Tubular Construction CEO Antonio Trindade are accused of committing these offences between 2014 and 2017.

Masango and Hlakudi are accused of receiving undue gratification valued at R30 million each from the contractors, Trindade and Lomas.

Kgomoeswana and his company, Babinatlou Business Services CC, are accused of facilitating the bribes on behalf of the Eskom Kusile contractors to the state-owned power generations’ senior bosses.

Twala said the other companies implicated in the case are Hlakudi Translation and Interpretation, Bon Service Telekom, Tubular Construction Projects, Abeyla Trading, Cosira Tubular Joint Venture (Pty) LTD.

Hlakudi and Kgomoeswana face additional charges related to tax evasion valued at R30m and R5m respectively.

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