Johannesburg - Eskom has moved to allay fears over whether its acting chief executive Collin Matjila is the right man for the job.

Matjila again made headlines this week after Independent Newspapers reported on details of a forensic report which places the Cosatu property scandal squarely at his feet. The union federation lost up to R16 million in the sale and purchase of its headquarters in Johannesburg in 2011.

Matjila, who has held several high-powered positions including heading the City of Johannesburg’s executive committee between 1994 and 2000, was the chief executive of Cosatu’s investment arm, Kopano Ke Matla, at the time.

While he has so far refused to comment publicly on the matter, a confidant has said he was rushed by Cosatu’s national office bearers to seal the deals.

Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi said yesterday the board had full confidence in Matjila’s ability to lead the utility in the interim period.

His appointment has been criticised from various quarters. Both unions and analysts have called for his sacking, saying the fact that he was at Eskom temporarily would not detract from his ability to cause harm, as he would know he would not be there to face the potential consequences.

“The board has full confidence in the ability of Mr Matjila to lead and manage Eskom in the interim period, and is satisfied that Mr Matjila has no aspiration for the permanent appointment as chief executive,” he 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 these allegations have no bearing on his current role at Eskom as the process is not yet complete,” he said.

Tsotsi said the process to appoint a new chief executive was at an advanced stage, and that a submission to new Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown would be made soon.

Saturday Star