The Gupta family has slammed a bid by Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to sue them for R3.8bn, which the power utility claims was illegally diverted to help them buy Optimum Coal, as a “national embarrassment waiting to happen”.
“The allegations pleaded in this summons are legally incomprehensible. It is undoubtedly one of the worst-drafted legal documents I have ever seen,” Gupta family lawyer Rudi Krause told Business Day.
Earlier this month, TimesLIVE reported that two former Eskom executives implicated in state capture at the electricity utility had reacted with anger and bemusement at the summons sought in the high court in Pretoria.
Former Eskom group CEO Brian Molefe, CFO Anoj Singh, former group executive of generation Matshela Koko and company secretary Suzanne Daniels are among the erstwhile executives named in the Eskom statement.
“I think it’s a singular act of cowardice,” said Molefe. “They went to court and I presume put in the particulars of what their claim entails. Before we could have sight of their summons, they issued a press statement. That puts us in the position of having to respond to queries without having seen the documents.”
Singh said it was too soon to comment because he had not received the papers, but he was ready to go through the process as it would afford him the chance to respond to the allegations.
Krause declined to elaborate on his clients’ response when contacted by TimesLIVE on Wednesday.
“I’ve said what I wanted to say,” he said.