The DA says it will lay criminal charges against ANC’s Chancellor House over a $6 million Hitachi ‘bribe’.
Hitachi, the company which won a R38.5 billion tender to provide Eskom with boilers for the Medupi and Kusile power stations in 2007, admitted to have made improper payments to the ANC’s investment company, Chancellor House, to the value of $6 million in the process leading up to the tender being awarded.
Hitachi agreed to pay $19 million (R267 million) to settle charges brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which alleged that Hitachi inaccurately recorded improper payments to the ANC via Chancellor House, relating to the contracts to build the two multi-billion dollar power plants at Medupi and Kusile.
“This quite clearly amounts to prima facie evidence of corruption which saw the ANC illegitimately profit to the tune of $6 million via improper payments disguised as “consulting fees” and other legitimate payments,” said Mmusi Maimane, federal leader of the DA.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia, Hitachi was aware that Chancellor House was a funding vehicle for the ANC during the bidding process, yet continued to partner with Chancellor House and encouraged the company to use its political influence to help obtain government contracts from Eskom.
Hitachi then paid what it called “success fees” to Chancellor House for its ‘exertion of influence’ during the Eskom tender process in terms of a separate, unsigned side-arrangement.
The Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, Andrew J. Ceresney, said: “Hitachi’s lax internal control environment enabled its subsidiary to pay millions of dollars to a politically-connected front company for the ANC to win contracts with the South African government.
“Hitachi then unlawfully mischaracterized those payments in its books and records as consulting fees and other legitimate payments.”
Maimane said that this is clearly an admission of de facto corruption that implicates the ANC.
He said that the DA will lay criminal charges against Chancellor House for this unlawful activity under the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act (POCA).
“The DA will ensure that those implicated at Chancellor House are investigated, prosecuted and if found guilty, jailed,” Maimane said.