File image: Matshela Koko. (IOL).
JOHANNESBURG - The fate of recently reinstated Eskom executive Matshela Koko was among matters that the power utility's new board was scheduled to discuss at its meeting later today, Eskom said yesterday.

The Presidency on Saturday called on the board to immediately remove all of the Eskom executives who were facing allegations of serious corruption and other acts of impropriety, executives such as Koko and Anoj Singh.

Eskom on Monday evening announced Singh’s resignation. Prior to his resignation, Singh had been on suspension since September last year.

Koko, on the other hand, walked back into his old job earlier this month after an Eskom disciplinary process cleared him of wrongdoing. He was facing a handful of misconduct charges.

In addition to the statement of the Presidency, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba earlier this week pleaded with Koko and Singh to resign “in the interests of the country”.

But Koko, who is scheduled to appear before the Public Enterprises Portfolio committee that is probing allegations of corruption, governance failures and mismanagement of state funds at the utility, is still continuing to serve at Eskom.

However, with the Presidency leaning on the board to remove Koko, the board is under pressure to act swiftly.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the utility's board would later today discuss a number of issues, including Koko’s fate.

It is the board's first meeting since it was announced at the weekend.

“The board will start the process to engage Koko on the mandate it has been given by the Presidency,” said Phasiwe.

The new board, under the leadership of respected businessman Jabu Mabuza, is also grappling with Eskom’s financial woes.

Phasiwe said the state-owned entity would this week start discussions with local banks to reopen lending facilities that were suspended last year.

The board and newly appointed interim group chief executive Phakamani Hadebe, who is highly regarded, have the immediate responsibility of reigniting confidence in the cash-strapped power utility.

Phasiwe said Eskom was optimistic of a positive response from the lenders, “because we are dealing with the issues that they want us to address.

"We are confident that the discussions will be fruitful.”

Meanwhile, Singh yesterday told the parliamentary inquiry that he had met the Gupta brothers, but denied that he had any business dealings with them.

Under cross-examination from evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara, Singh said he had seen the Gupta brothers in passing in Dubai, but denied having formal meetings with them. He also denied that he had any personal relationship with the Guptas.

He admitted that he had stayed at the exclusive Oberoi Hotel in Dubai, but denied that the Guptas or companies linked to the family paid for his stay, even when he was confronted with an invoice that showed that the Gupta-owned Sahara Computers had sponsored him.

He could not recall some of his trips to Dubai, saying he had made numerous trips to the country for personal and professional reasons.

He said he did not see a need to declare the trips to Eskom because his sponsors - Sahara Computers and an acquaintance from the UAE - did not do business with Eskom.