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South Africa's Eskom seeks to recover US$220m from Guptas, ex-bosses
[JOHANNESBURG] South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom said it issued summons on Monday for its ex-bosses in a bid to recuperate US$220 million it claims was siphoned from the company in corrupt deals.
The move targets a dozen former Eskom executives as well as the wealthy Gupta family, which has been accused of vast corrupt dealings with former president Jacob Zuma and receiving favourable government contracts.
"The funds were lost in a concerted effort corruptly to divert financial resources from Eskom, to improperly and illegally benefit the Gupta family and entities controlled by the said family and their associates," Eskom said in a statement.
The summons were issued in Pretoria High Court on Monday.
Eskom, Africa's largest electricity company, has become synonymous with some of South Africa's worst corruption scandals during Zuma's presidency.
Under Zuma, a massive corruption scandal known as "state capture" allegedly saw millions of dollars diverted through government and state agencies by awarding fraudulent contracts to favoured companies in return for bribes.
The government welcomed the action taken by Eskom.
"We are confident that the legal action will give impetus to the broader fight against massive corruption, which must not only see funds recouped, but also ultimately lead to the arrests and criminal prosecution of suspects," the ministry of public enterprises said.
"This is an essential milestone in the fight against corruption," it added in a statement.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance described the move as "most certainly a step in the right direction".