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More corruption at Eskom? COO accused of ‘finding jobs for in-laws’

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Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer is under the cosh once more this week after it was revealed that the business executive had actively sought-out positions for family members without declaring their relations.

The COO has previously admitted to calling a senior executive and asking him to find a job in Cape Town for his brother-in-law, Gregory Jacobs. Nepotism, of course, was an underlying factor in Eskom’s Gupta-sponsored collapse during the height of state capture.

Who is Jan Oberholzer, and what is he accused of?

As Bloomberg report, a 15-page report has lifted the lid on what Oberholzer has been accused of doing since he was appointed to the board. The allegations include the following:

  • Jan Oberholzer is believed to have increased an Eskom contract linked to a construction firm he held shares in.
  • A R42 million payment Oberholzer ‘authorized’ to construction company Aveng Ltd is also under scrutiny.
  • In a recently-filed report, Oberholzer was accused of “using of the F word and shouting at the top of his voice” -continuously threatening to fire people for non-performance.
  • Mark Chettiar – a whistleblower in an internal investigation – has faced an internal disciplinary procedure (initiated by Oberholzer) over the allegations he made. It’s now understood that Chettiar has been moved to a position in HR, much to his consternation.

Eskom CEO accused of ‘corruption, nepotism’.

The Aveng payment promises to be a particularly troublesome matter for Jan Oberholzer. Nazeer Cassim, a former high court judge, processed the report into his behaviour: Although Eskom has suggested a form of ‘counselling’ to teach the executive about their best practice, Cassim believes the R42 million transaction requires a stronger form of retribution:

“Jan Oberholzer breached the provisions of the Eskom policy – he should have abstained from the transactions in totality. I propose and recommend that the CEO or a nominated board member counsels Oberholzer on the matter… But there is no reason why the Aveng issue cannot be the subject matter of a disciplinary hearing.”

Nazeer Cassim

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