Information technology services company EOH on April 23 clarified that it had entered into an acknowledgement of debt (AoD) with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) at the end of September 2020 and that it had started monthly payments in terms of the AoD from October 5, 2020.
It also highlighted that the forensic investigation undertaken by law firm ENSafrica had transparently and proactively reported to the authorities, including the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the SIU and the National Treasury regarding wrongdoing by a handful of former employees of the EOH Public Sector team.
On May 31, 2019, EOH reported the wrongdoing to Treasury and proposed to compensate the State for identified irregularities including in contracts concluded with the Department of Defence (DoD) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).
By July 8, 2019, the DPCI had received a Section 34 report on the ENSafrica preliminary findings and the matter had been reported to the FIC, EOH added in an April 23 statement.
The SIU met with EOH management for the first time on March 20, 2020, and requested that EOH engage with them directly regarding compensation to the DoD, as they were mandated to address the irregularities at the DoD. During that meeting, EOH provided the SIU with the ENSafrica investigation information regarding the DoD contracts.
The SIU's April 22 statement, titled 'EOH to pay back over R40-million earned unduly from the DoD', said EOH had signed an AoD with the SIU to the value of about R41.68-million, which is to be paid back to the DoD over a period of three years with interest.
The statement also said the SIU conducted an intensive investigation that uncovered irregularities relating to the procurement process and also the overpricing of Microsoft licences amounting to more than R40-million and found that the contract entered into was irregular.
"The terms of the settlement agreement were disclosed at the EOH 2020 year-end results presentation on December 2, 2020. In addition, this disclosure was repeated when EOH released its interim results on April 14, 2021," EOH said in its 23 April statement.
"EOH has not only reported wrongdoing but has initiated action to recover losses caused by the perpetrators of wrongdoing," the company reiterated.
"EOH remains committed to doing business ethically, as well as being a good corporate citizen. It was in line with this commitment that EOH provided input to the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into allegations of State capture regarding identified irregularities."