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Karpowership plan hit by new corruption allegations

DNG alleges that businessmen who are now partnering Turkey’s Karpowership approached the firm’s chief executive officer seeking a bribe.
Image: : Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

DNG Energy, a losing bidder for state contracts to supply emergency power in South Africa, made fresh corruption allegations against a winning bidder, Karpowership, and a government official.

In an October 12 supplementary affidavit to court papers, the first of which were filed in April, South Africa-based DNG alleged that businessmen who are now partnering Turkey’s Karpowership approached the firm’s chief executive officer seeking a bribe. In exchange, they would ensure that DNG won a contract, Aldworth Mbalati, the CEO of DNG, said in the papers, adding that he spurned their offer.

Read: Fishing communities fear their livelihoods are threatened by Karpowership plan

“It is clear that even at a rudimentary level that some sort of agreement was entered into between the fifth respondent,” Karpowership, and the businessmen, he said. That was “in return for a stake in the fifth respondent, as was the proposal to DNG, which I declined.”

Powergroup SA, Karpowership’s local partners, and Karpowership denied the allegations.

DNG’s case, along with environmental challenges, has made the plan to secure 2 000 megawatts of emergency power by August next year unlikely. The deadline for financial close of the projects, initially set for July 31, has been extended until the end of January and DNG’s case will be heard at the end of November.

Read: Nelson Mandela Bay SME group backs Karpowership, plans march to Transnet

That means relief from intermittent power outages that plague South Africa will be delayed.

Karpowership, a Turkish company that operates gas-fired plants from ships, won the bulk of the government contracts. Other successful bidders include Scatec ASA and Electricite de France SA.

Mbalati made earlier allegations against energy department officials, saying they attempted to secure a bribe for him in return for helping him secure a contract. Those allegations were denied and the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme said DNG was disqualified because its bids fell short of requirements.

Mbalati, in his October 12 statement, also questioned how a Department of Mineral Resources and Energy official could afford the assets he owns on his salary.

The department didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Dear fellow South Africans we will do lifestyle audits of all government officials and politicians. Ohyeah, that was when?

Name names please … much as we know the corruption is endemic, unless established, ethical businesses go public and to court, we are tired of allegations which allow the perpetrators to yet again slide off the hook.

If I attempt to bribe an honest SAPS officer I would be arrested and charged without hesitation. The exact same principle should apply here.

Ah Sooo NOW AFTER DNG alleged fraud?

Why did they pay and not get the tender?

Odd everybody plays along, just bad when they do not get the payoff!

No matter how much we comment, corruption IS going to happen!

Did we expect anything less from o’Gwede or O’ANC, than corruption allegations.

Perhaps Karpowership can get Karpowerland to build power stations on land and manage it. At least it is known that they can do this, unlike the Kusile and Medupi free-for-all non events.

Just not nuclear please. Imagine; designed in Turkey, built in SA. Booom.

End of comments.

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