25 March 2023 | 02:27 AM

Listen: Cape Talk’s Kieno Kammies speaks to Susan Comrie about her Deloitte investigation


AmaBhungane’s Susan Comrie explains how she pieced together information from interviews, tipoffs and 1 000 court documents in her investigation of two consulting contracts Eskom awarded to multinational firm Deloitte in 2016.

“We started looking at Deloitte in 2018, when we were investigating Nkonki Inc. the auditing firm which was covertly acquired by (Gupta-man) Salim Essa, and it was in that context that we came across the two Eskom consulting contracts,” Comrie said.

But with little evidence to go on, the investigation into the awarding of contracts to Deloitte had to be put aside — until October last year.

In an affidavit filed at the high court in Johannesburg, Eskom’s former chairman Jabu Mabuza provided more details how Deloitte secured the R207-million contracts despite its prices being considerably higher than other bidders. 

Deloitte has not filed its response to Mabuza’s affidavit, but during an interview with amaBhungane, Deloitte Consulting managing director for Africa Thiru Pillay accused Eskom of trying to bully Deloitte into a settlement.

As we reported in our original story, Pillay said that over months of discussions Deloitte had refused to concede that it was “complicit with irregular procurement” or that there was “any undertone of corruption” in its dealings with Eskom.

*Listen to the interview below.

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Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha is a freelance science and health reporter. She is joining the amaB team to work on a project about water and sanitation. Aisha’s passion for long-form narrative and investigative journalism was sparked while doing her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. After graduating in 2018, she returned to South Africa and began working as a general beat reporter for the Daily Maverick. Aisha joined the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in 2020 to focus on science reporting. During her time there, she covered the COVID-19 pandemic extensively — from fact-checking harmful medical misinformation to unpacking the science behind vaccine development. Aisha’s special interests include analysing health systems and in-depth coverage of public health issues and infectious diseases. She also loves spreadsheets and digging through data.

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