Karpowership’s local empowerment partners have hauled the Turkish company to court to prevent being kicked out of the deal amid claims they were offered millions to sell their shares to a mystery partner who turned out to be businesswoman Anna Mokgokong.

The Sunday Times reports that BEE partners Powergroup SA and the Turks on Friday launched an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to interdict parent company Karadeniz Holdings Ltd (KHL).

The court ordered them to come up with an agreement by 5 September and the case was postponed until 7 September.

The Sunday Times understands that Powergroup and KHL are set to meet today. KHL has told them to put together an exit proposal, but the sticking point is likely to be the value of their 49% stake in Karpowership SA (KPS).

Powergroup is also expected to introduce other buyers for a chunk of their shares who will compete against Mokgokong.

But KHL, which owns a controlling 51% stake in KPS, will have to approve them.

The report notes that the success or failure of these talks could have a serious impact on Eskom because the Karpowership project, meant to take just a year until the company began pumping 1 200MW of electricity into the grid, is already three years behind schedule.

Attached to the court papers is Powergroup’s application for private arbitration in which the consortium alleges that since November last year KHL has tried to strongarm some shareholders into selling their stakes in the project, estimated to be worth R228bn.

Full Sunday Times report