JOHANNESBURG - Eskom current and former employees have been receiving bribes from a supplier at Kusile coal-fired power station, according to Eskom’s suspended group executive for generation, Matshela Koko.
Seemingly eager to spill the beans on the contracts, Koko last week tweeted: “When my hearing commences, I will tell it as it is. I moved the three executives because (they are) corrupt.”
When contacted for comment on his tweet, Koko this week confirmed that he would address the removal of the executives from Kusile at the hearings.
“I will confirm that I removed the executives because of corrupt activities,” he said. Koko said some of Eskom’s current and past employees received bribes from the power utility’s suppliers. “At the hearing I will say who these suppliers are,” said Koko.
Koko is facing six misconduct charges mainly relating to his failure to declare a conflict of interest concerning contracts worth approximately R1 billion which were awarded to Impulse International, a company in which his step-daughter, Koketso Choma was a shareholder.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has also been charged for “usurping” the authority of some members of the Eskom executive when he was interim chief executive.
Eskom has alleged that Koko in February this year instructed Frans Sithole, a Project Director at Kusile, to remove Senior Manager for Contract Management, France Hlaukudi, a Project Manager for a consultant company at Kusile, Gopal Kambi and a company called GTC from the Kusile project. In March this year, Koko also moved group executive for group capital, Abram Masango to the office of the group CEO. Masango was Sithole’s manager. Eskom said Masango would assist the-now-suspended group financial officer,
Anoj Singh and Koko with the execution of Eskom’s 2017-18 corporate plan.
Reports have emerged that Hlaukudi would in the hearings which are now scheduled for November 23 to allow new evidence leader, Cassim Moosa time to familiarise himself with the matter. Moosa replaced Sebetja Matsaung who was sacked by Eskom last month. Eskom is expected to call a handful of witnesses before Koko testifies. In its charges, Eskom said Koko failed to provide Sithole and Masango with reasons for the changes he wanted at Kusile. “Your response was that Sithole must look for reasons in order to comply with your instructions. If not, you would do it yourself,” Eskom said in its charges.
In his responding plea, Koko did not respond extensively to the misconduct charges relating to Kusile. But his legal representative, Advocate Frans Barrie has previously told the hearings that Koko was within his delegated authority when he instructed Sithole to remove Hlaukudi from Kusile. Koko was Eskom’s interim chief executive between December 2016 until he was placed on special leave in May this year pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations of conflict of interest.