Matshela Koko
JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom acting chief executive Matshela Koko has refused to step down from the company despite calls from Business Leadership SA (BLSA) yesterday for him to go.

BLSA said Koko must follow in the footsteps of his former colleagues Anoj Singh and Prish Govender.

Despite this call and the Presidency at the weekend for Koko and Singh to go, the former has remained defiant.

He repeated his stance in the inquiry into Eskom in Parliament that he would not go.

He told the inquiry he remained an employee of Eskom, and had been with the company for 23 years.

But communications director at BLSA Themba Maseko said Koko should go.

“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,” said Maseko. “His continued presence at Eskom is undesirable, untenable and will compromise investigations and undermine the new leadership,” he said.

Instruction

He said they backed the instruction from the Presidency to the new Eskom board that all officials implicated in corruption must be removed immediately.

At the inquiry in Parliament Koko denied he was involved in corruption. He denied that Eskom had illegally benefited Tegeta in the coal contracts. He said the guarantee of R1.6billion to Tegeta was above aboard.

Koko also defended the R600million prepayment to Tegeta, saying this was a policy that was approved in 2008.

This followed the review of the short-term and long-term contracts by the Treasury Department.

He said in the mandates the guarantees were highlighted. Koko also defended his decision to suspend some of the top officials at Eskom. He said he was called by suppliers that they were paying kickbacks to the executives.

“I have bank accounts with suppliers who are saying we are paying executives. I moved these people,” said Koko.

Frans Hlakudi resigned from Eskom after he was suspended by Koko last November, and Abram Masango remained on suspension. He denied that he had introduced Salim Essa to some of his colleagues.

- BUSINESS REPORT