Eskom au­di­tors’ re­port may seal sus­pended Mat­shela Koko’s fate

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Ziyanda Mbolekwa

SUS­PENDED Eskom ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko’s fate could be known to­day when the power util­ity pub­lishes its an­nual re­port.

Eskom yes­ter­day con­firmed that it had re­ceived a re­port from its ex­ter­nal au­di­tors af­ter they raised con­cerns on al­leged irregularities with Koko and for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Molefe.

Koko was im­pli­cated in an ap­par­ent con­flict of in­ter­est af­ter Eskom awarded Im­pulse In­ter­na­tional, a com­pany in which his step­daugh­ter Koketso Choma was a di­rec­tor, con­tracts worth R1 bil­lion.

Eskom spokesper­son Khulu Phasiwe said irregularities per­tain­ing to the con­tract and Molefe had been iden­ti­fied by its own au­di­tors and ex­ter­nal au­di­tor SizweNt­salubaGo­bodo.

Phasiwe said Koko’s fate was in the hands of Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown, while Molefe’s would be de­cided by the courts.

“Eskom has taken ad­e­quate steps to the sat­is­fac­tion of the au­di­tors that the irregularities were no longer con­tin­u­ing, ex­cept that in Molefe’s mat­ter,” Phasiwe said.

The util­ity said the irregularities were re­ported to the In­de­pen­dent Reg­u­la­tory Board of Au­di­tors.

Koko ran Eskom af­ter Molefe’s abrupt de­par­ture from the util­ity in Novem­ber af­ter for­mer Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela im­pli­cated him in the State of Cap­ture re­port last year. Prior to that, Koko served as Eskom head of tech­nol­ogy and com­mer­cial.

Molefe was con­tro­ver­sially re­in­stated as chief ex­ec­u­tive in May, but re­moved three weeks later af­ter the cab­i­net put pres­sure on Brown to fire him.

“Eskom’s board has taken ad­e­quate steps to the sat­is­fac­tion of the au­di­tors that the irregularities were no longer con­tin­u­ing,” the power util­ity said. “In Molefe’s mat­ter, it was noted that the ir­reg­u­lar­ity could only be closed out when the court pro­ceed­ing had been con­cluded.”

Koko has since been on leave as an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by a le­gal firm ap­pointed to probe a pos­si­ble con­flict of in­ter­est asks for more time to com­plete its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Phasiwe said Molefe’s case had been left to be de­cided by courts as he had taken his dis­missal to the Labour Court.

Phasiwe said the board had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on the Im­pulse In­ter­na­tional mat­ter, and that a probe had now been com­pleted.

“The Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises (Brown) and the board of Eskom will in due course make pub­lic pro­nounce­ments what the find­ings were and what re­me­dial ac­tion will be taken, if nec­es­sary,” he said.

PHOTO: NI­CHOLAS RAMA

Sus­pended Eskom ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko may know his fate to­day when Eskom pub­lishes its an­nual re­port.

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