EOH CEO Stephen van Coller.

IT group EOH has said it started paying back funds to the Department of Defence (DoD) six months ago in a case of over-invoicing related to Microsoft software licences.

This comes after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which probes allegations of government-linked corruption, on Wednesday announced that EOH had agreed to sign an R41.6 million “acknowledgment of debt”, which will be paid to the DoD over three years with interest.

The SIU is seeking to have the contract between the IT group and the DoD annulled, and has said it will refer evidence of criminal activity to the NPA and the Hawks.

The unit said that the acknowledgement of debt does not exonerate EOH from possible further payments which may still be uncovered in an ongoing probe. 

On Friday, in a statement, EOH said it already started with monthly payments to the DoD in early October 2020.

“EOH has not only reported wrongdoing but has initiated action to recover losses caused by the perpetrators of wrongdoing,” it said. 

The IT group said that, since it employed law firm ENSafrica in 2019 to conduct a forensic report, it had “transparently and proactively” reported wrongdoing by a “handful of former employees of the EOH public sector team” to authorities.

Last week EOH CEO Stephen van Coller said the group had closed the eight problematic public sector contracts that got it into trouble, including the one with the DoD.

He said EOH was also in negotiations with the SIU over what to pay back for over-billing the Department of Water and Sanitation.

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