Cape Town - Eskom has suspended Anoj Singh, chief financial officer, pending a disciplinary hearing, the power utility said in a statement on Friday.
Singh was placed on special leave at the end of July by Eskom's board of directors until an investigation into his conduct had been concluded. His exit followed after mounting allegations that he was involved in irregularly awarding contracts to Gupta-linked businesses, while also receiving gifts and trips from the controversial family.
Fin24 earlier reported that Singh’s special leave was brought on by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown following a threat by the Development Bank of SA (DBSA) that it would retract its R15bn loan if no action was taken against Singh.
In its statement, Eskom further said that suspended head of generation Matshele Koko’s disciplinary process will start within the next two weeks.
“Both Messrs Singh and Koko will be afforded a fair disciplinary processes,” the statement read.
Koko was suspended in July when it emerged that tenders were awarded to a company – Impulse International – while his stepdaughter was a director at the firm.
Koko, who acted in former CEO Brian Molefe’s position for a few months, was first placed on special leave pending an investigation by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr after concerns had been raised about an apparent conflict of interest.
Eskom board chairperson Zethembe Khoza announced Koko’s official suspension at Eskom's financial results presentation in Johannesburg in July.
The power utility has been mired in controversy for the bigger part of 2017 for its alleged involvement in state capture. It is the subject of a parliamentary inquiry that is supposed to commence in the fourth quarter of 2017 during which its coal contracts, the remuneration of board members and executives and state capture allegations will be probed.
On Thursday, Eskom suffered another blow when Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) suspended it as a member of the organisation.
In its statement, BLSA said Eskom, as South Africa’s national electricity provider, is a strategic asset and due to multiple governance and operational failures, and a stretched balance sheet, the state-owned entity represents systemic risk to the economy as a whole.
"Until and unless a non-conflicted, experienced and permanent chairperson and board are appointed - who in turn appoint an experienced and honest executive team - Eskom will loom large over the economy as a threat to stability and economic growth,” BLSA said.
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