File picture: Nic Bothma/EPA
Johannesburg – Eskom's board on Thursday said it had initiated a probe into allegations that acting chief executive Matshela Koko’s stepdaughter’s has a shareholding in Impulse International – a company which won nine tenders from the power utility worth a R1 billion.

In a statement Eskom said its "board resolved, in its meeting of March 28, to undertake a forensic and legal investigation following the well-published allegations against Interim Group Executive, with immediate effect".

Eskom Chairman Dr Ben Ngubane added: “The allegations in the public domain have a corrosive impact on the social standing of Eskom, as a brand, as well as its entire leadership. As the board, we have a constitutional mandate to probe these allegations, with a view to getting to the unassailable truth of the situation".

Ngubane said that Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has been instructed to conduct a forensic and legal investigation in respect of the various articles concerning the potential conflict of interest relating to Koko’s stepdaughter’s shareholding in Impulse International.

Koko has stated that his stepdaughter, Koketso Choma, 26, who graduated just three years ago, resigned from the company. He said the objective of the probe “will be to ascertain whether the allegations can be corroborated and/or substantiated by evidence including real and/or documentary evidence”.

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Ngubane said Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr will be appointing an independent auditing firm to assist with the forensic investigation.

“This process will facilitate a fitting response to our Shareholder Representative, the Honourable Minister Ms Lynne Brown, who has asked the Board to address the matter as swiftly as possible,” said Ngubane. He said the board did not interfere with the development of the scope of the investigation.

“Instead, we decided to leave it to Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr to craft it so as to facilitate, inter alia, effective scope consideration owing to their expertise. As Board, we will not hesitate to implement the resultant recommendations.”

He said the Eskom board will always endeavour to act “decisively” in the best interest of the nation, in the face of various challenges they confront.