23 Nov 2017
Koko did not follow correct procedures to declare interest- witness
Suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko’s disciplinary hearing resumed on Thursday, following a one-month break.
During the hearing Eskom’s manager of governance and ethics, Allison Seckle said that suspended Eskom executive Matshela did not follow the correct processes in declaring conflict of interest.
Koko had written to former CEO Brian Molefe using a standard memo for communication between exco, and not the standard e-form said Seckle. Koko’s form does not have a tracking number and is not in the system.
“It means it could be a manually e-form, but it was not submitted. Even if it was manually generated, it would have had a tracking number. “There is nothing for me to see a form was created on 24 February. This is a form generated outside of the system, a manual declaration.”
She reiterated that it was created outside the e-form system. “No one would have been informed of the declaration of interest… The organisation had no knowledge of this interest.” The hearing will commence in Saturday at 10:00.
23 Nov 2017
Koko did not follow the correct procedures to declare interest
Eskom’s manager of governance and ethics, Allison Seckle said that suspended Eskom executive Matshela did not follow the correct processes in declaring conflict of interest.
Seckle unpacked Eskom’s policies related to conflict of interest. The policies are applicable to employees, board members and exco.
She explained that declaring conflict of interest is a “legal requirement”. “It is in terms of good corporate governance that board members required to declare conflict of interest,” she said.
Employees receive mandatory training which is completed at induction at Eskom, training is also mandatory every three years, she said. “On an annual basis we remind them to declare their interest.”
The procedure to declare interest requires an employee to make the information using a standard declaration of interest e-form.
Koko had written to former CEO Brian Molefe using a standard memo for communication between exco, and not the standard e-form said Seckle.
Koko’s form does not have a tracking number and is not in the system. “It means it could be a manually e-form, but it was not submitted. Even if it was manually generated, it would have had a tracking number.
“There is nothing for me to see a form was created on 24 February. This is a form generated outside of the system, a manual declaration.”
She reiterated that it was created outside the e-form system. “No one would have been informed of the declaration of interest… The organisation had no knowledge of this interest.”
She emphasised the importance of declaring interest using the correct process as it made it easier to monitor changes.
Further, the information must be collected in this way for assurance and forensics teams to access. The process also ensures conflict of interest is managed appropriately.
If interest is detected, the ethics committee
holds a meeting ill further to deliberate over it and decide if a member can
continue with proceedings. “If conflicted, a member is expected to recuse themselves.”
23 Nov 2017
The 'reasonableness' of Koko's instructions not investigated
Krugel clarified the role of Nkonki’s Incorporated's investigation into allegations that Koko had unduly interfered in tenders at the Kusile plant.
The charge accuses Koko of giving an instruction in February to Eskom’s project director at Kusile, Frans Sithole, to remove consultancy Arup Tata’s project manager, Gopal Kambi, the company GTC and an Eskom senior manager, France Hlaukudi from the project, without giving a proper reason.
She confirmed to Moosa that engagement with witnesses, which include Kusile’s Project Director Frans Sithole, and Abram Masango who was group executive for group capital, and Koko was material to the investigation.
“Our mandate was not to look at the reasonableness or the correctness of the instruction he [Koko] gave that day,” said Krugel.
"I cannot comment on reasonableness. It is not part of mandate. We did not investigate what he said to see of it is the truth or not."
Krugel added that Nkonki had not consulted with Hlakudi. “I cannot say he avoided us, but his consultation did not happen.”
Krugel also said that no reasonable explanation was given by Hlakudi for this.
Hlakudi allegedly earned about R20m in bribes to enable construction group Tubular Construction Projects to snatch a lucrative Kusile contract from international power group Alstom, City Press reported previously. The monies were deposited into the bank account of Hlakudi Translation and Interpretation CC from 2015. City Press reported Hlakudi is the only member of this business entity.
23 Nov 2017
Eskom counsel irons out details of Koko probe
The first hour of suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko, was dominated by the power utility’s legal counsel ironing out the details surrounding investigations into Koko.
Koko’s hearing resumed after a one-month break after Eskom terminated the services of its evidence leader Sebetja Matsaung. Advocate Cassim Moosa who has replaced Matsaung, called on Annemarie Krugel the forensic investigator from Nkonki Incorporated, to clarify the auditing firm’s role in the investigation.
Eskom had commissioned law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) to conduct an investigation into Koko’s alleged conflict of interest. CDH in turn appointed the independent audit firm to assist, said Krugel.
She reiterated was a “fact-finding” mission. She also affirmed that engagement with Eskom was purely to make its findings known while CDH’s report included legal recommendations for Eskom.
23 Nov 2017
Matshela Koko's hearing resumes after one-month break
The disciplinary hearing of suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko resumed on Thursday afternoon.
The hearing was halted last month, after Eskom terminated the services of its evidence leader Sebetja Matsaung, following reports in Business Day and Financial Mail that he was allegedly in conflict of interest.
Matsaung had an altercation with Financial Mail deputy editor Sikonathi Mantshantsha who accused Matsaung of owning shares in a firm Eskom had planned to do business with, Fin24 previously reported. Eskom sacked Matsaung, condemning him for threatening Mantshantsha.
Eskom appointed a new evidence leader, Advocate Cassim Moosa, who requested more time to familiarise himself with evidence against Koko. So far only two witnesses have presented evidence.
The disciplinary hearing relates to about R1bn in contracts awarded to Impulse International in 11 months while Koko’s stepdaughter Koketso Choma was a director at the firm.
Koko has pleaded not guilty to six charges laid against him. Four of the charges specifically relate to Impulse International, while the remaining two accuse Koko of improperly interfering in the Kusile power station project.
He was first placed on special leave in May and was later suspended as Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr probed allegations of conflict of interest.