Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko who has been facing disciplinary action over contracts awarded to a company linked to his stepdaughter has been found not guilty on all charges in a disciplinary hearing.
Consequently, the chairman of the hearing Advocate Mzungulu Mthombeni ordered his reinstatement.
The embattled power utility has been under the spotlight for the wrong reasons lately. For the most part, Eskom has come under intense scrutiny following Parliament’s inquiry into state capture.
While Koko faced six charges, including allegedly failing to declare a conflict of interest leading up to his stepdaughter owning shares in a company awarded a tender by a division he led, he claimed the accusations against him started surfacing when he dealt with corruption on assuming his role as interim CEO.
In his closing submissions, Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko said the utility had failed to bring any substantial evidence to support the charges against him. He relied heavily on two documents – a memo he drafted and presented to former CEO Brian Molefe and an e-form he printed out and handed to former board chairman Dr Ben Ngubane. The e-form details the issues surrounding the possible conflict of interest arising from his stepdaughter Koketso Choma’s directorship and shareholding in Impulse International.
As reported by Sunday Times in March this year, Impulse was awarded contracts worth nearly R1 billion while Koko was acting CEO. Nevertheless, Koko submitted that Eskom could produce no evidence at the hearing or during forensic investigations that he had any influence over the awarding of the contracts.
Eskom which is South Africa’s largest state owned entity has seen recent downgrades by ratings agencies and last month, the utility admitted to cash flow problems. Eskom executives and board members have been called out for allegedly favouring the Gupta family when dishing out multi-million rand contracts.