Eskom boss ad­mits con­tract ‘over­sight’

FRIEND: HIRED ON SALARY OF R100 000 A MONTH

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Maritz’s six-month writ­ten warn­ing ex­pired in 2010 and has been ex­punged.

Eskom’s in­terim group chief ex­ec­u­tive Sean Maritz yes­ter­day “ac­knowl­edged the over­sight” in hir­ing his friend on a R100 000-per-month con­tract with­out fol­low­ing proper pro­ce­dure, but re­jected that this was ir­reg­u­lar.

This comes af­ter week­end me­dia re­ports that Maritz had pre­vi­ously re­ceived a writ­ten warn­ing be­cause he did not de­clare that the lu­cra­tive con­tract was given to a friend and fel­low church mem­ber in 2010.

Maritz, a chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer and group ex­ec­u­tive for in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy at Eskom, was last week ap­pointed in­terim group chief ex­ec­u­tive of the trou­bled power util­ity, re­plac­ing Johnny Dladla in a ro­ta­tion of the ex­ec­u­tive role.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Maritz ac­knowl­edged the over­sight but re­jected ac­cu­sa­tions that the award­ing of the con­tract was ir­reg­u­lar. He said the award­ing of the con­tract was ad­ju­di­cated upon by a panel as per Eskom’s in­ter­nal pro­cesses.

Maritz said that his six-month writ­ten warn­ing in re­la­tion to the con­flict of in­ter­est ex­pired in 2010, and had thus been duly ex­punged. He also asked for space and time to fo­cus on ex­e­cut­ing his

du­ties. Eskom spokesper­son Khulu Phasiwe con­firmed this, say­ing that Maritz had de­fended him­self by say­ing that he had no in­ten­tion of dup­ing the Eskom board. Es­sen­tially, he ad­mits that it was a mis­take on his part not to de­clare his re­la­tion­ship with his friend when he hired him. But he says that it was not done wil­fully on his part be­cause there was a panel deal­ing with the award­ing of the con­tract.

“He thought that since he was not the one deal­ing with [the award­ing of the con­tract] di­rectly, he did not need to de­clare his friend­ship,” Phasiwe said.

“Ac­tion was taken al­ready and he was given a six-month writ­ten no­tice sen­tence and was warned that any re­peat of the mis­con­duct would re­sult in stronger dis­ci­plinary ac­tion taken against him. Ac­cord­ing to cor­po­rate gover­nance rules, he has served his sen­tence and seven years later it has ex­pired. So the case has been ex­punged and can­not be used against him.”

In the same state­ment, Maritz also re­futed claims that he had deleted some in­for­ma­tion from the server which had ev­i­dence im­pli­cat­ing Gupta companies in con­tro­ver­sial deals with Eskom and also link­ing sus­pended ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko to trans­ac­tions with the Gup­tas, Tril­lian Cap­i­tal Part­ners and Tegeta Ex­plo­ration and Re­sources.

Mean­while, Eskom said that it has noted the state­ments made by con­sul­tancy firm McKin­sey in re­la­tion to pay­ing back the fees paid to it in 2016.

Last week, Eskom said it sought Gupta-linked firm Tril­lian and McKin­sey’s “co­op­er­a­tion” in re­turn­ing the R564 mil­lion and R1 bil­lion paid to them “un­law­fully” in 2016 and 2017 re­spec­tively. – ANA

Says it was not done wil­fully on his part.

Picture: AFP

A per­son strolls across the Parc de la Tete d’Or in down­town Lyon early yes­ter­day.

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