The South African Revenue Service has attached the assets of state capture-linked firm Trillian and its sole director, Eric Wood.
During a liquidation application heard in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, brought by Eskom, it emerged that the revenue service had appointed a curator to attach Trillian’s and Woods’ assets.
While the SARS order is confidential, News24 understands that the assets of a raft of other entities and subsidiaries related to the firm have also been attached.
The existence of the order was revealed during a liquidation application brought against Trillian and Wood on Wednesday.
On January 17, Eskom applied for a liquidation order against Wood and Trillian and a contempt of court order against Wood, for failing to pay back R595m owed to Eskom by the consulting firm.
Trillian was appointed as a subcontractor by global consulting firm McKinsey, as part of the development of a turnaround strategy for the embattled state-owned enterprise. But allegations later emerged that Trillian did not have a valid contract with McKinsey and that Eskom was overcharged.
Trillian was linked to state capture allegations due to its association with Gupta associate Salim Essa, who worked for the firm.
McKinsey paid back R1bn which Eskom had paid to it, but Trillian did not. Eskom obtained an order in October last year compelling Trillian and Wood to pay back R595m.
However, Eskom approached the court again on January 17 this year, seeking to have Trillian and Wood liquidated. It also wants Wood fined R1 million or sentenced to 30 days in prison for failing to comply with the order. He is the sole remaining director of Trillian.
But on Wednesday, lawyers for Trillian and Wood argued that there could be no liquidation order until the curator appointed by Sars was joined as a respondent in the case. This was because the curator was technically now in control of Trillian’s assets.
Eskom’s lawyers, however, countered that the liquidation application predates the Sars order, and in terms of the Companies Act, the curator has no say in what happens to the assets yet.
Judge Natvarlal Ranchod, however, ruled that the matter should be removed from the roll pending the joining of the curator.