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EOH’s Van Coller testifies at State Capture Commission

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EOH CEO Stephen van Coller.
EOH CEO Stephen van Coller.

EOH group CEO Stephen van Coller is appearing at the State Capture Commission, testifying about the company’s dealings with government relating to “suspicious transactions” worth R1.2 billion and evidence of “a number of governance failings and wrongdoings”.

EOH’s problems surfaced after software giant Microsoft, in February 2019, terminated its contract with the IT services company after an anonymous whistle-blower filed a complaint with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission about alleged malfeasance to do with a R120 million contract with the SA Department of Defence.

In October last year, the JSE-listed company issued a statement that it had concluded its forensic investigation that unearthed suspicious transactions worth R1.2 billion.

At the time, EOH said: “Following the release of the interim update on the forensic investigation by ENSafrica on 16 July 2019, the board has now substantially completed the investigation into the R1.2 billion of suspicious transactions which were identified during the investigation.

“The ENSafrica investigation found evidence of a number of governance failings and wrongdoing at EOH, including unsubstantiated payments, tender irregularities and other unethical business practices which are primarily limited to the public sector business centralised in EOH Mthombo and to a limited number of EOH employees.”

Testifying today, Van Coller told the commission of the forensic investigation undertaken by the company that unearthed that some sub-contractors were paid for “no work done or dubious work done”.

EOH has authorised Steven Powell from ENS, who led the forensic investigation at EOH and is familiar with the technical details, to assist the inquiry regarding certain payments made to individuals by the company.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, is a public inquiry launched by the government of Jacob Zuma, in January 2018, to "investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, fraud and other allegations in the public sector including organs of state" in South Africa.

Later in the week, Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo, who was also treasurer of the ANC’s Greater Johannesburg region, has been asked to testify about City of Johannesburg IT contracts and donations by EOH and Regiments made to the ANC.

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