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#Eskom acting CEO under fire as stepdaughter secures lucrative contracts

Politics
Johannesburg – The public protector should investigate allegations of corruption against acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said on Sunday.

This follows a Sunday Times newspaper report alleging that Koko’s stepdaughter had scored contracts worth R1 billion for her company from the parastatal.

“Public confidence in state institutions is eroded by allegations of state capture and perceptions that state-owned enterprises(SoEs) are cash cows for the elite, the politically connected, their cronies, and families,” Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

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Inaction on the part of SoE boards and principals supposed to be holding SoEs accountable were reinforcing perceptions that there was no political will to stamp out the rising tide of corruption, he said. 

Mahlangu called on the Eskom board to lay corruption charges against Koko and suspend him pending the outcome of the investigation by the public protector.

“The allegations that Impulse International was awarded eight lucrative contracts from a division of Eskom that Koko headed up until he became acting CEO at the power utility warrants decisive action.”

Mahlangu said the Asset Forfeiture Unit should speedily move in if it was established that Koko had failed to declare the conflict of interest and or manipulated tender processes to benefit a member of his family. 

He called for adjudication of SoE tenders to be centralised with the involvement of the National Treasury as well as line departments, and to be subjected to a rigorous independent integrity check as part of evaluation process to eliminate corruption.

Earlier, the Sunday Times reported that Koko's stepdaughter had scored contracts worth R1 billion for her company from the parastatal.

According to the report, Koketso Choma, 26, graduated only three years ago and was appointed director at Impulse International last year. The company had since then been awarded eight lucrative contracts by an Eskom division Koko headed before being appointed acting CEO.

The newspaper reported Koko claims that, although his stepdaughter lives with him, he was unaware of her position as a director at Impulse until recently.

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