Eskom Group Executive for Generation Matshela Koko FILE PHOTO

JOHANNESBURG - Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has called on Eskom's controversial group executive of generation, Matshela Koko, to resign from the power utility soon after his appearance at the Parliamentary inquiry into governance failures at Eskom on Wednesday.

Eskom last month reinstated Koko following a disciplinary hearing that cleared him of any wrongdoing.

He was facing six charges, among others, for allegedly failing to declare a conflict of interest after a company in which his stepdaughter had shares, Impulse International, was awarded a R1 billion tender by a division he led before his appointment as acting chief executive.

At the time, BLSA slammed Koko's reappointment, saying this flew in the face of complying with the rule of law and undermined efforts to restore confidence in the economy. 

"BLSA reiterates its position that Mr Koko's reinstatement was ill conceived and premature and should never have happened. This position is borne out by new disclosures that he breached the conditions of his suspension," communications director at BLSA, Themba Maseko, said on Wednesday.

"His continued presence at Eskom is undesirable, untenable and will compromise investigations and undermine the new leadership."

Business Day newspaper reported on Wednesday that Koko, who was suspended in August 2017, broke the conditions of his suspension by regularly contacting Eskom employees despite his suspension letter making it clear that contacting Eskom employees could jeopardise his disciplinary hearing.  

BLSA, a powerful business lobby group, has welcomed the resignations of Anoj Singh as chief financial officer and Prish Govender as the acting head of group capital at Eskom after they quit earlier this week.

Maseko also said that BLSA would like all Eskom employees to co-operate with all investigations, including the parliamentary inquiry and the Special Investigation Unit probe announced by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. 

Maseko said that BLSA supports and has full confidence in the new board of Eskom. 

Government announced a new 13-member board for Eskom on Sunday, with businessman Jabu Mabuza appointed chairperson and Phakamani Hadebe as interim chief executive.

 - African News Agency (ANA)