Durban - Former Eskom boss Matshela Koko has been granted R300 000 bail following a brief appearance in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga on charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering on Thursday.
Koko appeared alongside his wife Mosima Koko, his stepdaughters Koketso Aren and Thato Choma as well as Hlupheka Sithole and Watson Seswai, in relation to a R2.8 billion corruption matter.
Sindisiwe Seboka of the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID) explained that the charges related to the building of the Kusile power station.
“In 2009, Eskom contracted with Alstom to undertake the control and instrumentation contract at Kusile power station. Alstom did not perform. Eskom engineers recommended that Siemens be appointed. The State alleges that (former) group executive (for) technology and commercial, Koko, influenced and abused his position to have Siemens, Billfinger-Mauell and ABB invited to bid in a closed tender,” Seboka said.
She said Billfinger-Mauell dropped out of the tender process and ABB South Africa was awarded the multimillion-rand control and instrumentation (C&I) contract in 2015.
“The State alleges that it then resulted in ABB South Africa appointing a company owned by Thabo Mokwena to provide skills development and industrialisation work to the value of R96 million, excluding VAT.
“In 2016, four variation orders were granted to ABB South Africa by Sithole to provide extra work not covered in the initial multibillion-rand C&I contract. The State alleges that money flowed from the multibillion-rand contract and that this was the first attempt to launder money on behalf of Koko,” the ID added.
From 2015 to 2017 several contracts were awarded, four of which form part of this matter involving Impulse International. It was providing Eskom and Rotek Industries with SAP work packages, specialised engineers and managers to oversee the different interphase contractors, among other functions. The State further alleges that a portion of these contracts were used to grease palms.
In the court papers it is alleged that money laundering vehicles were set up by Coetzee to siphon money from Impulse International to benefit the Koko family.
Seboka said the arrest was as a result of joint stakeholder engagements between the ID, Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
Seboka confirmed to IOL that Koko, Sithole, Seswai and Mokwena were granted R300 000 bail each.