Give our new boss a chance, pleads Eskom

Johannesburg  - Eskom pleaded on Sunday that its new boss Sean Maritz be given a chance to lead the state owned enterprise after his conduct came under the spotlight in media reports.

The appeal follows a Sunday Times report that Maritz had hired a friend and fellow church member at a salary of about R100 000 a month without declaring the friendship to Eskom. Maritz allegedly received a written warning for his conduct. The paper also said two Eskom executives had accused Maritz of allegedly deleting evidence implicating Gupta companies in controversial deals with Eskom.

Maritz denied the allegations in the paper.

On Friday EWN also accused Maritz of having close ties with suspended former executive Matshela Koko.

Koko was placed on special leave in May pending an investigation when it was revealed that a company at which his stepdaughter was a director netted at least R1bn in contracts from Eskom in just 11 months.

He is also being investigated for being a critical player in helping the Gupta family to buy Optimum Coal Holdings and its Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines from Glencore. Koko allegedly put business pressure on Glencore to force the sale to the controversial family, as well as helping them to fund the purchase.

In the statement on Sunday, Eskom said the reports were unsubstantiated allegations.

The power utility's board announced on Friday that it had appointed Maritz as the interim Group Chief Executive, as part of a decision to rotate the interim Chief Executive position. Maritz's predecessor Johnny Dladla, appointed in June, will resume his role as CEO of Eskom Rotek Industries.

"The decisions was made to give exposure to another member of the executive team without compromising organisational stability."

Eskom said the decision was taken with the approval of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. The minister's spokesperson Colin Cruywagen confirmed to Fin24 on Friday that Eskom had requested to have the acting CEO position on a rotational basis, to which the minister agreed. 

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