Following an investigative report of an alleged R1bn in contracts tender awarded to Koketso Choma, – acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s step-daughter , the power utility board is set to uncover the truth on how the billion rand contracts were awarded to just one company.
The Eskom board is expected to begin investigating potential conflict of interest involving its acting CEO, Matshela Koko and his step-daughter as was reported by Sunday times.
According to the report, Matshela Koko’s step-daughter, Koketso Choma was handed contracts for her company worth R1 billion from the state energy firm.
The 26-year-old Choma, who graduated three years ago, was appointed a director at Impulse International last April and in the next 11 months after her appointment, the company was awarded eight lucrative contracts from a division of Eskom that Koko headed up until he was appointed acting CEO in December.
Koko was appointed Eskom acting CEO in December, having joined the company in 1996. He was approved asEskom’s acting group chief officer (CEO)by the Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, after Brian Molefe resigned following his implication in Public Protector’s State Capture report.
Impulse International on the other hand – an engineering and project management company – is reported to have received R1.8 billion in contracts from Eskom since 2014, with R1 billion coming after Choma was appointed as director at the company.
The paper reported Koko as saying he was not aware that Choma worked for the engineering firm until four weeks ago but later said he knew about the matter since August last year and had asked her to resign since then.
“I have an adult who is a chartered accountant who has business in her own right, I don’t get involved in her dealings. However once I know the dealings that she is involved in may lead to conflict of interest I immediately instructed her to resign so as we speak now, and as of October 2016 she is not a shareholder nor a director of Impulse,” Koko told eNCA in a telephonic interview.
Meanwhile, Energy Sector Analyst and EE Publishers MD, Chris Yelland who discussed the matter with news media, said that the Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown would want to know how contracts amounting to R1-billion were allegedly awarded to one company and that they would get to the bottom of the matter in 90 days.
He says the board will be prioritizing an inquiry into these allegations.
“If there is any wrongdoing the board will deal with the matter. We need to give the board a chance” added Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe who also noted how unfortunate it is that the allegations have raised suspicions around the deal with Impulse International.
While the board are yet to meet, insists he’ is innocent about the deal and didn’t coerce anyone to work with the company.
“I don’t believe I’m compromised for a start. I’ve done everything that I had to do when I came to know about this conflict of interest, but the minister has already made a pronouncement that it is a matter of the Board and the Board must manage it and I take direction from the board.”
Koko, who was named in the public protector’s state capture report as having authorized a payment of almost R600-million to the Gupta-owned Tegeta – believed to have been used to buy Optimum Coal.