Ex-Eskom manager France Hlakudi’s trial set for early next year

The Pretoria Regional Court has set down former Eskom senior manager France Hlakudi’s R30 million tax fraud matter for trial for 1 and 2 February 2022.

Hlakudi faces tax fraud charges related to more than R30 million, stemming from the period he was in the employ of the utility as a senior manager for capital contracts.

Since the beginning of the matter earlier this year, Hlakudi has had to change lawyers, leaving the court unable to proceed with the case, until today, when a date for his trial was set by the Pretoria Regional Court.

He had also lodged an application in April to have a tax evasion charge removed from his charge sheet, but this was dismissed by the court.

According to the NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka, Hlakudi is also accused number in the R745 million Eskom Kusile Power Station corruption case.

Hlakudi and his co-accused, Eskom’s former group executive for the group capital division, Abram Masango, businessman Maphoko Kgomoeswana, and Tubular Construction CEO Antonio Trindade face various charges including fraud, corruption, and money laundering related to the construction of the multibillion-rand power plant.

ALSO READ: Court freezes R1.4bn of former Eskom execs, suppliers’ assets

Ex-Tubular holdings advisor Michael Lomas is expected to appear in the London Westminster Magistrates Court from 20 to 21 December 2021 for his extradition trial.

This after the ID brought an extradition application through the UK central authorities to invoke the European Convention on Extradition of 1957, and the UN Convention against Corruption Act of 2003, to assist in bringing Lomas back to South Africa to join the four accused in the case.

Lomas was arrested in April in the UK and granted bail of R1.7 million and surety in the sum of about R4.3 million, among other stringent bail conditions.

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe

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