Top5 on Fin24: Eskom payments to Trillian and Mckinsey criminal, Bitcoin to possibly face fate of history’s big bubbles

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Cape Town – A roundup of Wednesday’s must-read financial and economic news. 

NPA finds Eskom payments to McKinsey and Trillian were criminal

The payments Eskom made to McKinsey and Trillian were criminal, consisting of crimes including fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering.

The payments were also a deliberate and fraudulent circumvention of Eskom’s supply management processes.

This was the conclusion of the strongly worded founding affidavit for an ex parte property preservation order which was presented before the North Gauteng High Court by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against McKinsey, Trillian and Eskom.

In the affidavit Motlalekhotso Molelle, an acting special director at the NPA and head of operations at the asset forfeiture unit, asked the court to appoint a curator bonis to preserve property worth R1.59bn – the total amount of the “illegal” payments made to McKinsey and Trillian by Eskom.

READ: NPA concludes Eskom payments to McKinsey and Trillian were criminal

Bitcoin to face same fate as history’s big bubbles?

Bitcoin’s recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that’s gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com craze?

The magnitude of Bitcoin’s boom (before it lost as much as 48% from its December 18 high) suggests investors have reason to be worried.

The cryptocurrency’s nearly 60-fold increase during the past three years was truly extraordinary.

READ: Did bitcoin just burst? How it compares to history’s big bubbles

New chair appointed at KPMG

When Wiseman Nkuhlu signed on the dotted line to become audit firm KPMG’s new chair, the pen would have been a heavy instrument in his hand because the position comes loaded with additional baggage and challenges that would daunt most

But in an interview with Fin24, Nkuhlu resolved to put ethics first in his new role and open up the company to the highest scrutiny. He believes that with the necessary action and cooperation, KPMG could be turned around in a year-and-a-half.

In his current role as Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, Nkuhlu would have had some experience in handling difficult issues. He was at the coalface of the free higher education protests and attempts to find solutions to difficult questions.

Before that, he served as an economic adviser to former president Thabo Mbeki from 2000 to 2004 and chaired the Development Bank of Southern Africa Transformation team from January to May 1995.

READ: New KPMG chair resolves to put ethics first

OUTA’s Wayne Duvenage on why nuclear won’t happen in SA

Just over a month ago, Minister of Energy David Mahlobo hastily convened an Energy Indaba. Many viewed his efforts as a partial attempt to tick a public engagement box, along with an energy sector stakeholder input session aimed at paving the way for the introduction of nuclear power into South Africa.

The indaba was always going to be a waste of time and money, unless a couple of cards still to be dealt were able to fall into place.

Fortunately, President Jacob Zuma’s nuclear energy ambitions were halted a year ago by the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute and Earth Life Africa’s legal challenge.

READ: Why nuclear energy won’t happen in SA – Wayne Duvenage

IT jobs still in demand

Jobs in the information technology sector were in demand among picky applicants in 2017, according to Careers24 2017 job seeker statistics.

The research showed that among the top five sectors for job posts during 2017, the IT sector had 6 264 posts, a slight increase from 6 210 vacancies in 2016.

The career portal also showed candidates were highly selective about job applications and that the number of vacancies applied for were the same, if not slightly lower, than in 2016.

READ: Careers24 stats show IT jobs still in demand among picky applicants

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