Eskom stands up for Matjila

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IOL pic jun2 eskom power cables Independent Newspapers Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - The appointment of a new chief executive at power utility Eskom was near finalisation, Mayihlome Tshwete, the ex-spokesman of former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba, said last week.

Tshwete said all that remained was for him to brief the new public enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, on the process so far.

On Friday, Zola Tsotsi, the chairman of the board of directors of Eskom, said the appointment of the new chief executive was at an advanced stage and that a submission would be made to Brown.

“It is appropriate to engage the minister on the appointment as appointing the chief executive is her prerogative,” he said.

The board had full confidence in the acting chief executive, Collin Matjila, to lead and manage the power utility in the interim period, Tsotsi said.

It was also satisfied that he had no aspirations for a permanent appointment. The board had noted the allegations in the media against Matjila.

The Star reported on Wednesday that the man who bore the full brunt of the wrath of the investigation into the sale of Cosatu’s old head office and the purchase of the new one was Matjila. He was the former chief executive of Kopano ke Matla, the labour federation’s investment arm.

Tsotsi said: “We are confident that the issues raised in the media are being dealt with by the relevant organisations Mr Matjila was involved in at the time.

“We believe that the allegations have no bearing on his current role at Eskom as the process is not yet complete.”

The Star said SizweNtsalubaGobodo, the auditing firm that undertook the investigation, was scathing about Matjila. He was accused throughout its report, which the newspaper had seen, of maladministration and not bothering with basic due diligence.

The forensic report forms the basis of many of the nine charges facing the embattled general secretary of Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi.

The newspaper reported that the labour federation might have lost almost R16 million in the two transactions.

The 58-page document reportedly said Vavi was responsible for the financial affairs of Cosatu and was supposed to supervise Matjila closely.

According to the auditors, when Cosatu moved house in 2011, the federation overpaid R6.3m for its new building and undersold its old building by up to R9.5m.

Kopano and Matjila were roped in to assist with the transactions, based on their knowledge and experience.

Vavi was allegedly meant to keep a close eye on Matjila, but he allowed the old Cosatu House to be sold for R10m, even though its true value was higher and there were other offers on the table. - Business Report



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