Gupta companies could have fake BEE certificates - DA | Fin24
 
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Gupta companies could have fake BEE certificates - DA

Feb 26 2018 16:27
Caryn Dolley

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has said the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) certificates of three Gupta companies are possibly fraudulent and it will make sure that documents relating to this are made available for the inquiry into state capture.

"The DA will report this likely fraudulent behaviour to the B-BBEE Commission for investigation," DA spokesperson for trade and industry Dean Macpherson said in a statement on Monday.

"The DA will also ensure that these documents are made available to the state capture inquiry headed up by Deputy Chief Justice Judge Raymond Zondo, as these were used in the commissioning of state capture."

Last month it emerged that former president Jacob Zuma wanted the state capture commission of inquiry to investigate all forms of government corruption.

Macpherson on Monday said the DA would use every avenue to ensure the allegations are investigated and, if any fraud is uncovered, that those responsible be held to account.

He said the three companies involved are Tegeta Resources and Exploration, Optimum Coal Mining and Trillian Consulting.

"These three Gupta companies submitted certificates to Eskom during the course of 2016 to secure contracts, meet internal procurement requirements and, in the case of Trillian, ensure payment authorisations," Macpherson said.

The DA obtained the BBBEE certificates after an application was made to Eskom, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

'Tegeta does not fit the micro-enterprise profile'

Macpherson said an analysis of the certificates showed that Tegeta did not fit the profile of a micro-enterprise because its income was more than the annual turnover of R5m.

A turnover of less than R5m is required for companies in that category.

"A note to shareholders shows its company assets were valued at R11m. It also had Eskom contracts with a combined business value of R2.2bn," Macpherson said.

'Zero percent black ownership'

He said when it came to Trillian Consulting, it was rated in an affidavit as a micro-enterprise with 0% black ownership.

"However, Salim Essa’s 60% share constituted the black ownership portion of Trillian," Macpherson said.

Essa is an associate of the Guptas.

"Trillian and McKinsey were paid R1.6bn between April 2016 and February 2017 for consulting work done between 2015 and 2016," Macpherson said. 

Trillian’s certificate was issued on April 14 2016.

Three days later, Macpherson said, "R495m was paid to Trillian for ‘consulting services’ and R30.7m for a corporate plan for Eskom". 

"Trillian, based on this revenue stream, would be disqualified as a micro-enterprise," he said.

'Possibly incorrect black ownership figures'

Macpherson said Tegeta and Optimum’s black ownership figures on the certificates are most likely incorrect.

"Available evidence shows there was no black female ownership of 5.13% for Tegeta despite being listed on the certificates as such," he said.

"It is clear that these B-BBEE certificates and affidavits from Gupta-owned companies may have been an attempt to artificially meet B-BBEE requirements."

Last week it emerged that several Gupta-linked companies have filed for business rescue.

On Monday business rescue practitioners, appointed to oversee several of the companies, outlined their plans for the assets of the companies involved.

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