Koko gets Twitter whiplash over Gordhan tweet

Cape Town – Twitter users were not impressed by former acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s tweet on Thursday that allude to double standards regarding the outcry over Eskom CEO Brian Molefe returning to his position after being granted early retirement.

He asked users if they remembered the Sunday Times story about Ivan Pillay being rehired at the SA Revenue Service (SARS) shortly after his retirement.

Koko is currently on leave pending an investigation of a possible conflict of interest relating to his stepdaughter, who reportedly netted at least R1bn in contracts awarded to her company in the past 11 months, a revelation also reported by the Sunday Times.

Koko's reference to the Pillay story, which was published on 19 October 2014, was dug up two years later by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams, who charged Pravin Gordhan for fraud over the matter.

The move was seen as a direct attack on Gordhan, who was finance minister at the time, and Abrahams quickly dropped the charges. At the time, Gordhan said “it is quite clear that these legal proceedings are contaminated by abuse for political ends”.

Gordhan has been seen as a buffer against state capture, with allegations of state capture levelled against President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. Eskom was linked to the family after the Public Protector's State of Capture report was released in November 2016.

Koko’s reference to the story comes as Molefe faces a storm of legal, executive and legislative inquiries into how he was given a R30m early retirement package; a move that was rescinded and saw him return to Eskom as CEO. He left after being implicated in the State of Capture report.

Koko subsequently deleted his post, but Fin24 took this screenshot of it:

This is what Twitter users remember

Twitter user Alastair McAlpine‏ said he did remember the Pillay story. “For sure. And the NPA refused to prosecute cos evidence so weak.”

Twitter user SAD‏ recalled Pillay as “the guy that took early retirement by the book, authorised by a principled leader resulting in a Hawks and NPA humiliation!”

Twitter user Epicurus‏ remembered too. “A tissue of lies produced by crooks in an attempt to deflect attention from their corrupt activities.”

Twitter user Glenn Murray‏ said it was fake news. “I remember this was fake news, which the NPA declined to prosecute. Shem you digging deep to try justify Brian.”

Twitter user Howard Gluckman agreed, saying that tweeting fake news “only makes those who tweet it seem corrupt themselves”.

Other Twitter users pointed to allegations of corruption levelled against Koko regarding his stepdaughter.

Twitter user Nthabi‏ said that “Unlike #BrianMolefe he had actually reached retirement age & retired. Comeback with something else, like your stepdaughter's tender…!”

Twitter user Tracey Shaw asked: “How's that billion rand contract going between Eskom & your step-daughter that you said you didn't know about? Or Gupta prepayment for Tegeta?”

Twitter user The Kingmaker‏ had this advice for Koko: “Free advice mate, don't go there. Don't. You will thank me later.”

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