Koko’s future at Eskom on edge as new details emerge

Eskom’s acting CEO Matshela Koko. (Pic: Supplied)
Eskom’s acting CEO Matshela Koko. (Pic: Supplied)

Cape Town – The freshly-strengthened Eskom board has the mammoth task of deciding the fate of executive Matshela Koko, as details from an unseen report into allegations of conflict of interest emerged on Wednesday.

Koko was placed on special leave in May pending an investigation by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr regarding allegations that Impulse International, a company of which Koko’s stepdaughter Koketso Choma was a director, had won millions of rands worth of contracts from Eskom.

Koko was made acting chief executive after Brian Molefe's "retirement", but was placed on special leave when Molefe returned briefly in May. Koko remains head of generation, despite being on leave.

The board has the tricky task of not repeating its mistakes that landed it in the Labour Court against Molefe, whose role was rescinded in June.

However, while Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and the Eskom board sit on the report into Koko, details from it keep emerging.

The Financial Mail on Wednesday revealed that “investigators found Impulse was not on any Eskom panel of service providers”.

“But despite all its problems, Impulse was paid R348.6m for nine irregular contracts awarded between July 2014 and early 2017.”

Brown and Eskom should finalise the matter next, Department of Public Enterprises spokesperson Colin Cruywagen told Fin24 on Wednesday.

"Eskom's interim board will brief Minister Brown on these and other issues after the release of the company's Integrated Financial Statement next week," he said.

This is not the first leak from the report, as the Sunday Times said it also recommended that Koko face a disciplinary hearing because the contracts are worth more than R1bn.

The law firm allegedly found that Impulse was awarded a R63m contract a few days after it agreed to appoint Choma as a non-executive director, the paper reported.

In April, the Sunday Times said phone records show that Koko lied about speaking with his stepdaughter's business partner.

A report published in the same paper on March 26 revealed that Impulse scored R1.8bn in contracts from a division of Eskom that Koko headed until he was appointed acting CEO in December. Koketso, who graduated just three years before, was then already employed by Impulse.

Koko was implicated in the #GuptaLeak emails, in which it shows he benefited from a luxury trip to Dubai at the expense of the Guptas.

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