Eskom denies reports of paying R4 billion to student

Eskom has reacted to the outcry over reports that it paid R4 billion to a single man by mistake. The ordeal began after ANC veteran Carl Niehaus, among others, tweeted a post on the social media platform Twitter.

The article in question focused on the hardship of Sbongile Mani, a student who became famous after being awarded a huge quantity of money by NSFAS. Mani was charged with theft after an inquiry revealed that she had spent a significant percentage of the monies that had been placed into her account incorrectly by the fund.

The post claimed that Mani had mistakenly been paid R14 million by the fund, spending R880 000 and earning herself a criminal record after being found guilty of theft.

Eskom has slammed allegations that it paid R4 billion to the wrong person by accident. Image: Eskom

However, Eskom was drawn into the situation when the post claimed that it had mistakenly paid R4 billion to a coal supplier which it then allegedly failed to recover:

“The second picture is of Eskom coal supplier Quinten van der Burgh, who Eskom ‘mistakenly’ paid R4 billion and the government released a statement that they couldn’t take any action to recover this R4 billion and would not pursue any arrest or court case against Quinten, the matter was closed just like that. Quinten is the youngest billionaire in South Africa through supplying coal to Eskom and Quinten has no qualifications besides matric.”

Exerpt from social media post

Naturally, allegations of this nature involving a State-Owned Entity and an individual who supposedly became the nation’s youngest billionaire through ill-gotten means quickly gained traction. Sharing the post, Carl Niehaus weighed in with his own opinions on the matter:

“This is NOT justice …”

Carl Niehaus

However, Eskom has since debunked the controversial allegations that it had not only botched a R4 billion payment but also failed to take any action. In a post responding to the matter, the power utility denied the allegations made against it.

“Eskom would like to distance itself from the allegations contained in the tweet. As previously addressed, there was never any R4 billion paid “by mistake” to anyone.  The CEO  has never made the comment as alleged in this tweet.”

Eskom