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52 phone calls expose Eskom boss #MatshelaKoko's lie

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Cape Town - Phone records show that acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko lied about speaking with his stepdaughter's business partner, according to the Sunday Times.

The paper reported that Koko was in contact with Pragasen Pather around the time that Eskom awarded multimillion-rand contracts to Impulse International.

The two men denied that they knew each other, but later changed their tune.

The calls are believed to be part of an investigation into the possible conflict of interest over lucrative contracts from Eskom when Koko's stepdaughter was a director at Impulse International.

A report was published in the Sunday Times on March 26 alleging that Impulse International scored R1.8bn in contracts, from a division of Eskom that Koko headed until he was appointed acting CEO in December, when Koketso Choma, who graduated just three years ago, was in the employ of the company.

Shortly after the allegations were published in the Sunday Times, Eskom issued a statement saying that when Koko became aware of his stepdaughter’s involvement in Impulse International, he asked her to resign as a director and shareholder.

“This was duly done by Ms Choma in September and October 2016. Thus no legal obligation for Mr Koko to declare his interest,” Eskom added.

Choma was also a beneficiary and trustee of Mokoni Trust, which has an interest in Impulse International.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced that law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr was appointed to investigate whether Choma unduly benefited from R1bn in contracts awarded by Eskom.

“There’s so much public interest in the matter and the credibility of Eskom is at stake, and therefore I asked the investigation to be concluded within one month instead of three,” said Brown last month.

Responding to the latest report, the Eskom board said on Sunday it is gravely concerned by the running coverage and commentary on the allegations that pertain to Koko and Impulse International.

“When we announced the independent legal and forensic investigation on 30 March 2017, we highlighted why we did not disclose the scope of the investigation. Doing so would have potentially impacted the sanctity of the investigation,” said Eskom chairperson Baldwin Ngubane in a statement.

"We allowed Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr a free hand to appoint an entity to undertake a forensic aspect of the investigation. All this was a deliberate attempt on our part to enhance the effectiveness of the investigation," he said.

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