Cape Town – Eskom’s group executive for generation Matshela Koko should follow the example of the power utility’s former chief financial officer Anoj Singh and former acting head of group capital Prish Govender and resign, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) said on Wednesday.
Koko faced a disciplinary hearing over allegedly not declaring a conflict of interest while his stepdaughter Koketso Choma was a director at Impulse International – a firm which benefited from about R1bn worth of contracts awarded by Eskom over 11 months.
Govender was implicated regarding monies paid to consulting firm McKinsey in a contract which has been declared unlawful and void by Eskom. Both were reinstated – amid outcries among civil rights groups – after having been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Eskom Inquiry resumed on Tuesday with Singh testifying. He denies ever being aware of wrongdoing at Eskom.
It was Koko’s turn on Wednesday and he opened up about the McKinsey-Trillian contract. The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises is investigating mismanagement of state funds at Eskom.
“BLSA reiterates its position that Mr Koko’s reinstatement was ill conceived and premature and should never have happened. This position is borne out by new disclosures that he breached the conditions of his suspension,” Themba Maseko, communications director at BLSA, said in a statement.
“His continued presence at Eskom is undesirable, untenable and will compromise investigations and undermine the new leadership.”
Earlier on Tuesday the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) said it welcomed the resignation of Singh and called for Koko to resign as well. The two are facing several allegations related to criminal activities, including corruption.
The union has called for the two to be criminally charged, while the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) demanded that Singh be stripped of his accounting licence and even face a possible jail sentence.
Koko, on the other hand, has indicated in a lawyer’s letter addressed to interim Eskom CEO Sean Maritz on Monday that he refuses to resign, because he believes he still has a crucial role to play at Eskom. In his view, Eskom’s lenders have been unfairly demanding his resignation.
BLSA called on all Eskom employees to co-operate with all investigations, including the parliamentary inquiry and the Special Investigation Unit probe announced by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
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