This morning EOH group CEO Stephen Van Coller held a media briefing to address some of the issues that have been plaguing the company of late, and in particular to unpack the findings of a recent investigation by local law firm ENS into some corrupt and fraudulent behaviour by employees of the company.
The finer aspects of the findings have not been detailed fully yet, but Van Coller explained that an estimated R1.2 billion in fraudulent payments were made to contractors over a period of three years.
More specifically the EOH head said that eight people at the organisation were found to have orchestrated the illegal payments, with an unusually high 80 percent of payments going to roughly 20 contractors between 2014 and 2017, most of whom have not been seen in-person by EOH staff, Van Coller adds.
This has prompted the company to introduce new contingency measures to ensure that bribery and corruption are rooted out, the group CEO continued, although how effective those new measures will be remains to be seen.
In the interim EOH has seen three board members resign, with a press statement sent out last night listing Pumeza Bam, Zunaid Mayet and Rob Godlonton. All three held director/CEO positions at EOH or one of its subsidiaries, with their replacements yet to be officially confirmed.
It’s also unclear how much knowledge they had of the illegal activities over the aforementioned three-year period, or indeed if they are one of the eight people who Van Coller alluded to.
The group CEO did note, however, that the company plans to press criminal charges against those eight people, and seek any civil claims it can.
Van Coller ended his media briefing by stating that EOH will continue to cooperate with authorities in their investigation, and have directed ENS to do the same.
As this is a developing story, we await more information from EOH, and will keep our readers up to date on the company’s situation and the circumstances surrounding the investigation and fraudulent activity.